Yesterday at the beauty shop, I overheard another client tell the guy styling her hair that she and her husband were playing in a couples golf tournament in the mountains this weekend. When he said that it sounded like fun, the woman shook her head.
“I don’t think so. The name of the tournament is The Divorce Open.”
If you gave me a choice between cleaning a bus station bathroom or playing in a golf tournament, I’d have to think about it. Nevertheless, if Dearly Beloved and I ever played in a tournament together, the marriage would be just fine, thank you.
In the early years of our marriage, Dearly Beloved was a scratch golfer (note to non-golfers: that means ‘damn good’.) I had never played, but he bought me a set of golf clubs shortly before we headed for a convention at Myrtle Beach one year. It was being held at a new, luxury hotel with a long, tough golf course and DB was really looking forward to playing it.
At a cocktail party the second evening, I made a new friend, a teacher from a little town in the mountains. She mentioned that she was the high school golf coach there. Somehow– must have been the liquor–we decided it would be fun for the two couples to play a round of golf together. My first ever round of golf.
When I told Dearly Beloved that I had arranged a golf date for us, he looked stricken. He’d already planned a game for himself with three other really good golfers. Nevertheless, he cancelled his own match and the next morning the four of us met at the first tee.
DB hit first, a bullet-like riser that whistled at least 250 yards straight up the fairway. The husband hit next, then the teacher made her way to the tee. Already, carts were lined up behind us, filled with impatient golfers waiting to start their own rounds.
My new friend had a set of mammaries so large that she had to waggle the club several times to decide whether to go with the under-breast bobble or the over-bosom bounce. Her choice sent the ball clunking along about 50 feet.
I whiffed a few times, but not because my bosom was in the way. Finally I made contact and the ball dribbled off the tee about two club lengths. I ran out and picked it up and set it back on the tee. I tried again. And again. And again.
DB finally told me we needed to get moving after I hit one that made it about ten yards. I was oblivious of the glares of the golfers behind us, but my husband, the epitome of politeness and golf etiquette, was surely miserably sympathetic to their plight.
That first hole was interminable. After numerous whiffs and dribbles, I still hadn’t reached DB’s tee shot. It was harder than I’d anticipated. It might take two or three holes to get my game perfected, I thought.
DB picked my ball up and told me, “I’m going to throw this out in the fairway so you’ll have a better shot at it and then you just keep hitting and follow the ball to the green.”
The audacity! Was he kidding?
“Is that the way real golfers do it?” I asked indignantly.
He was incredulous. “You’re laying 16 and you can’t even see the flag yet.”
With that, my sweet, patient husband reared back and threw my ball with a vengeance out onto the fairway. Well, that was his intention….
In his anger, he forgot that our cart had a metal frame around the top for a canvas cover. His knuckles hit the top rail at about 90 mph and made a crack louder than his tee shot..
He refused to look at me or acknowledge the pain. I didn’t dare snicker.
I think we quit about the fourth hole, before the lynch party had fully formed in the parking lot. BUT, later that afternoon DB and one of his friends went back out on the course with me. Granted it was drizzling, but they were so patient and encouraging I had a wonderful time. Their balls went straight and I couldn’t hit mine far enough to lose it, so the growing darkness didn’t hamper us. I certainly wasn’t going to finish a round, but we played anyway until the lightning sent us back to the hotel.
DB has maintained a sweet, patient attitude with me every time I’ve ever gone out with him since that day and he maintains that same demeanor when playing with our kids, sons-in-law, or our grandsons. He’s a wonderful golf teacher and to the grandsons, playing golf with Granddad is their very favorite thing.
He claims that he looked at his swollen, throbbing knuckles on that day and took his injury as a message from God: PATIENCE!!! He would never again be a scratch golfer. He had a handicap now: