“People like you should never play golf.”
That was my son talking last Christmas. The very son who at one time professed love for me, who was now refusing to play golf with me – ever.
“Why do you say that?” I asked, not a little heartbroken, “is it my eyesight or my aim?”
“Both,” he said, “and I don’t know which is worse.”
He was probably thinking of the last time we played golf.
I had found a set of clubs in my shed. Which was no surprise because all kinds of things suddenly appear and disappear in my shed, so why not a set of clubs?
But golf clubs belong to that special class of objects which includes things like waffle makers and pipe wrenches. Everyone has them. Everyone is surprised to discover they have them. No one uses them and no one really knows where they came from.
And anyone who denies this has simply not looked hard enough.
Anyways, I found these golf clubs about the same time my son became an avid golfer, so we agreed to go on a Saturday outing together.
I teed off first.
My First Shot
After a couple of swings which my son had the good grace to not count, I finally connected with the ball and that was the last I saw of it.
My Second Shot
The ball launch off on what might be called an environmental odyssey – to explore the nests and burrows of the woodland creatures who had the misfortune to live along the fairway.
They were not amused.
My Third Shot
That one hooked into the parking lot and acquainted itself with the SUVs, sedans and pickups who slumbered there.
My Fourth Shot
Romped across a tree-lined suburban boulevard into a vinyl-clad dwelling to greet the folks who lived therein.
“We have to do something about your swing,” my son informed me.
So while he played golf, I devoted the afternoon to straightening out my stroke. With considerable success.
My shots no longer sliced into squirrel nests or hooked into parking lots, instead they flew straight and true – directly into the water hazards.
No matter where the water lay or which direction I was pointed, my ball inevitable caused a splash.
“You’re giving the bass headaches,” my son complained.
“You’re exaggerating,” I groused back at him.
“Every shot you hit not only landed in the water but beaned a fish,” he insisted.
“Get serious,” I told him.
He strode over to the nearest pond, waded in up to his knees and pulled out a comatose carp.
That was it for me and golf.
Until last Christmas when my son presented me with a small box, wrapped in green paper and tied with a red ribbon.
I opened the box to discover a shiny white golf ball. I thought it was his way of inviting me to try the game again.
“Turn it over,” he said.
And there embossed on the opposite side in brilliant gold lettering was the word: BASSMASTER.