Saturday, June 18, 2016

Four Dads Playing a Round

Pausing on hole #5 of a round on Friday someone spontaneously offers a toast.  The band is back together at Normandie Golf Course the Friday before Father’s  Day. “To Macenzie, Nick, Jack, Ally, Nicole, Danny(Dannielle), Sammy(Samantha), Lindsey and Ben.” A foursome of proud Dads hardly aware how often their progeny come up in conversational bits and pieces between tee-boxes, scanning the rough spots for errant golf balls and lining up putts. We know we are blessed. We are stoic and yet all share soft spots in our hearts for those kids.  “To our own dads” – of whom half are now deceased – we are reminded of the passages of time and our own mortality.    

Rowdy Jones, Dave Cox, Tom Shaughnessy and Wes Morgan make a point to get together this way periodically. Not too long ago this confluence of chronies could consist of a dozen (or more) and include a long weekend at the lake with cigars, karaoke, fast food, and perhaps an occasional local tavern or strip joint between tee-times. We are really just kids ourselves.      

You can feel a warm breeze on this day and note the ninety degree rule (which could well be a reference to the temperature). The grounds crew is busy and ever present the first few holes. We are men comfortable in our own skin --- just happy to be surveying the green vistas. Rowdy, from under a wide brim straw hat, quotes Tom Kite who described the pressure of being a professional golfer as keeping the number of mistakes in a round to one (or less). Laughingly we know the frequency of error will be at a somewhat higher rate for us. (But, as always, we do the best we can with joy in the journey.)

The "dynamic pricing" online promotion determined the value-oriented timing of this round and it is clear that law and order of a private club is not part of this public venue. A five-some in three carts in front of us and several singles came out to play. Our round concluded in more than five hours. We hardly noticed the slowing of the pace of play on the back nine because we were enjoying being together. We savor each hole and admit we are old enough now and need not play from the tips. (A decision we made and stuck with to the end.)

An uneventful round with a few laughs concludes with the usual banter in the parking lot as we look over the scorecard for something to brag about. Par for the course. A lovely afternoon.

Normandie Golf Club was built in 1901 and is the oldest Public golf course west of the Mississippi still in operation in its original location. It was designed by Robert Foulis, a disciple of Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews, Scotland. It's unique routing and throwback style is a golfing gem.      

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