For anyone who has read a word about me, you know golf is one of my lifetime favorite activities. I have spoken about it in countless posts, I have shared stories about my favorite 4some, and I have talked about the DIVES I have stayed in just to play. I have admitted to sucking at golf, and being lucky at golf. I have brag about this, that, and the other about golf, and have claimed that I have never not enjoyed a round of golf. But one of the best memories of golf came from the time I played with Allison, the 1st time she ever played golf on a real course using real everything. Today I will share that story.
But before I go any further I need to tell Cari, no matter why her mom says, her mom is one of the most competitive people I have ever encountered in my life. She plays Yahtzee with the same go for the neck, killer attitude you do, she play’s Monopoly like she is a slum lord, and her days playing field hockey and Lacrosse, well, to say “she took no prisoners” is a vast understatement. But and this is a very big butt, she was a true sports person, she always played clean and with respect. Sure she would try to decapitate her opponent, but she did so with a smile, and at the end of the game she was the 1st to shake hands and congratulate her opponent. Win or Lose, but like me she has always enjoyed winning more.
For as anal as I am you would think that I would have written down the date this event took place, I do know where it took place, I know the week it took place, I just don’t know the year it took place. The location was Phoenix, Arizona. The time frame; it was the week between Christmas and New Year; we were in Phoenix because Steph had to either attend a conference or make a presentation at a Conference. I believe we flew out to Phoenix on the 26th of Dec and returned either the 1st or 2nd of January. I know that Steph was only involved in her work related event for 2 or 3 days at the most. Because the trip was filled with day trips to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff, Scottsdale, and we had a ton of fun and I am extremely happy that the car had unlimited mileage. Gosh here I go again 4 hundred words of setup.
All smiles the Round is just beginning
This round of golf was only 1 of 2 times we played golf together, and it was the 1st time. I want to believe that it was a Tuesday because the golf course was not crowded, which would allow Allison to spray the ball all over the place, and there wouldn’t be anyone behind us bitching about our slow play.
We were joined on the 1st tee by a single; I explained that it was Allison’s 1st round of golf on something other than a putt putt course, and that I expected the round to be relatively slow. He introduced himself and said he would rather play a slow round with folks than a quick round by himself. Having played as a single before, I knew the feeling. It turns out the guy was slightly better than me, and quite cordial. If offered advice when asked, and didn’t step on my toes at all during the round. He kept an eye on the ball flight and had an eye almost as good as mine. Because of this Allison only lost 2 or 3 balls the entire round. Of course this doesn’t count the balls in the water, we could all see the splash then, and for a beginner this was a MAJOR victory. And the more she played that day the better she got. She was upbeat, the picture shows us at the 1st tee, she maintained that smile the entire round. And like a true golfer she cussed (as well as someone not used to cussing at that age could) a bit when she screwed up, I was so proud of her. She truly nailed a few shots, enough so I thought if she ever gets even half way serious about this game, she will kick my butt. It was clear she was having a good time, and we chatted the entire time about a variety of things not all golf related.
The Pièce de résistance came on the 18th and final hole of the round. Allison was giddy and getting tired, she had found out that 5 hours in the Arizona sun (even if it is a dry heat) will wear your ass out. Still smiling, still joking, still having a good time, she knew this was the final hole for the round. She didn’t many any wild proclamations, she wasn’t bragging, she was looking forward to that cold soda that was only 400 yards away. Allison tee’d up the ball for her final drive of the day. Driving hadn’t been her strong suit, (hell, get in a car with her and you can see it still isn’t her strong suit). But she cracked her best drive of the day, smack down the middle of the fairway, and long. Lord the girl was an athlete, and now she was smug because she out drove me. My second shot was fair, short of the green, but close enough that I was happy. Allison’s 2nd shot was as ugly a shot as you can imagine, rolling maybe 30 yards dead left, her ball came to rest near the trunk of a small bush like vegetation, but she had room to take a stance, and she again hit the crap out of the ball, her third shot hitting short of the green but with plenty of top spin the ball rolled up and to the very back edge of the green at least 45 or so feet from the flag. I dumped my 3rd shot, and my 4th was about 10 feet from the flag. I walked over to Allison gave her a kiss for getting on the green, and helped her line up her totally impossible putt. This was a 45 + foot putt, downhill all the way with at least 3 major breaks before reaching the cup. We discussed it for about 15 seconds or so, and she lined it up. My only real advice was DON’T HIT IT TO HARD! Allison struck the ball like a pro, I knew immediately that the ball had the right pace, and it was amazing to watch. You could have put any PGA player in that position, and he would have had a 1 in a 1000 chance of making that putt. OK OK maybe 1 in a 500 chance. But this was Allison’s 1st round of golf; she barely knew which end of the putter to hit the ball with. She hit the 1st break point perfectly, and was cruising towards the 2nd break point still on track and still at perfect speed, her ball made the next break, and was destined for the hole, it just had to maintain its speed, and damn if it didn’t, that ball dropped dead in the center of the cup. Allison who had been walking kinda behind the ball, immediately dropped her putter, and when into wawa wawa wawa chicken dance, giggling, laughing, prancing all over the place. The guy who had been playing with us all day just turned to me and said “I can see who the golfer is in your family,” In a laughing tone, walked over and shook Allison’s hand and congratulated her, then sunk his 15 birdie putt. I on the other had 2 putted for a double bogey. Yes we knew who the golfer was in the Hamilton family.
Below is the scorecard from that round of golf, it’s one of a dozen or so scorecards I cherish, but none more. I am 64 years old and during the course of my life I have played over 1200 rounds of golf, of all of those rounds this was by far and away my favorite. Allison’s par has the box around it, and I don’t remember for even a second why certain holes have x’s below them.
As always if you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to share or ask them. Take care, Bill