Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Start and Finish of Golf
During the war years, when we lived on the Bald Prairie in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, I golfed with my mother. I was from 7 to 10 years old and golfed with her clubs, sharing them as we went around the 9 hole golf club south of the tracks. I don't think the course was ever irrigated: I remember it as always brown, had oiled sand greens and it was as flat as a pancake.It even had the occasional cow turd as I recall. I think it was rough where it was trod and really rough where it wasn't! Mum and I both loved fried mushrooms and part of my job while playing was to dig them up as we went around. The best ones were the mushrooms that hadn't emerged but showed the telltale cracking of the crust of earth. She and I would have a feast when we got home. My mother was a dreadful golfer but determined and a round with her consisted of a swing,25 oaths, always "damn", and moving forward, ignoring the divot and creating one from the mushroom digging. I stopped golfing after 10 until I turned 50 when my friend George said to me, "Warren, If you don't start golfing now, you will never be any good." I took it to heart and joined the Lotus City golf club, beautiful links, and the pianist bought me an enormous collection of clubs for my birthday with a bag that was so heavy I could hardly carry it. Many of my friends and colleagues golfed there and I bought classic clothing so I would look the part, golf gloves, umbrella, ball retriever and Gor-Tex rainware. I dutifully took lessons and practised all aspects of the short and long game. I remained as lousy a golfer as my mother despite my best efforts. It wasn't all bad. I really never kept score so I could always think of the 4 great shots I had over the 18 holes. I was an agreeable partner, so was sought after by the equally agreeable since I was so bad it made them feel good about their own game. I felt this was a useful service. The downside of the course, recognized as one of the most beautiful in the country, was that there were no mushrooms. I developed Rheumatoid Arthritis after 10 years so eventually gave up playing for the second time in my life. George was right at least about the fun; I was never any good, but the beauty of the walk on the course made up for it, even without the mushrooms.