FROM THE VALLEY: Titleist 1, 2, 3 and … FORE
BY TOM VALLEY
This past Sunday I went golfing for the first time this year. The weather was great. I expected it to be in the low '90's but it was even higher. Ahh, I'm talking about my score now.
Everything started out fine; I was rolling right along as if the seasonal-layoff had never happened. And then it happened - it always does - I had to go hit my second shot. Okay, the first one wasn't that great either. By the way, I'm the only guy who can mistakenly hit someone else's ball off the first tee.
We started at noon, when some of the usual gang of the 'Ten O'Clock Hacker Society' assembled for our first get-together. Just so there's no confusion about the twelve o'clock tee-time versus the ten o'clock name, we figured it would be warmer this time of the year, rather than our usual 9:37 start.
One of the regulars didn't show up, I was told, because of his bad slice. What's the big deal, I wondered, we all have that problem. “Yeah,” someone said, “ but he got his from a table saw. (Heal quickly, Rich.) True story. Been there, done that, by the way.
Our good friend, Dr. Gerry Lamont was also missed. He's been home trying to figure out how to spend all the money he's won from his nemesis, Mr. Bruce Foley, over the past several years. (“It's not the amount, it's the direction of the flow” so sayeth the good Doc.)
“Casino” Butch played but hesitated at first. “It (the temperature) better be in the 60's, otherwise it's too cold for me.” This from a guy who spent the freezing winter months ice-fishing with his son David; and cold November days sitting in a tree-stand for hours on end, hunting deer. David also played Sunday.
I rode with the very low-key, Mark. Mark's inability to complain about things is contrary to the rest of the group's standard-operating-procedure of blaming every bad shot on any and everything from the fake news-media to the California wildfires. Fantastic guy. Also, in our foursome was gentleman-personified, Mr. Greg “Eh?” Budd.
Greg rode with D.C. And D.C. is the only guy I know who was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. The man has his own cart … for a reason. He could talk the ears off ten acres of corn. I think his tongue and vocal cords are on steroids. And that just might be against the rules of riding in a golf cart with someone, ergo, his own cart. But, most importantly, D.C. is the kind of friend who's always there for you when you need him. Great guy.
Rounding out Sunday's group were “Mr. Consistent,” the cookie-man, Steve B, his partner, the ever-stealth ball striker, the “K-man” Kevin. Also in attendance was avid player, Ronnie. Ronnie is younger and walks so he doesn't have to listen to any of the bovine-fodder which flows naturally from the older guys. And gracing us with his presence was all-around nice-guy, Mike Paul.
Of course, Jim “Covidberry” joined the group and told us how much he loved his new Taylor-Made golf clubs. Asked why, Jim quipped “I can throw them about twenty yards farther than my last set.”
And I already told you about Foley, Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky, himself. He was there. But seriously folks, I ride him pretty hard in this space, but he can't be that bad of a guy. After all, he's a vet/Marine and loves his dog, Sam. But then again …
One guy who didn't play with us, but I'd be remiss if I didn't give him a shout-out is Brett Decker. Aka: Mr. Do-it-all, Brett is the glue that holds the club (Shelridge) together. A personable, hard-working guy, Brett deserves tremendous credit for our ability to just 'go play golf.' Another round of applause goes to groundskeeper, Michael Tross. Great job, Mike.
Also about golf: I'm looking forward to playing up in the north-country/ Ogdensburg area with my brothers, Tim and Mike, friends: Bob, Opie, Mac-the-Mulligan machine, my man Doc Shea and his posse, led by the indomitable Don Ramie et al.
A golf joke or two: Our course is tough. I was playing the long par 3, 8th hole with a new member. I teed up and plunked my new ball right into the creek. I pulled out another new ball, re-teed and proceeded to plop that one in the drink as well. Five more times, same result. Finally, the newcomer said, “Excuse me, but why don't you use an old ball?” I said, “I've never had one.”
Seriously, our course is so tough, I lost three Titleists in the ball-wash just yesterday. (Insert rim-shot here.)
I'm done. Remember, if you golf, keep your head down and your chin up.
That's the way it looks from the Valley.