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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Hokey Golf

By Jackie Harrison

Every time my husband wanted me to learn something, he gave it to me for my birthday or for Christmas. One Christmas I received a lovely blue golf bag, a set of golf clubs and six lessons from a local pro.<​​/p>

Before I met my husband, I had never set foot on a golf course. After we married, I went around with him on golf courses spending most of my time searching for his wayward golf balls. I thought to myself, "This is like an Easter egg hunt.” l had no desire to play.<​​/p>

Nevertheless, I took lessons. My lessons were given by a wonderful professional golfer who had lost his left arm during the war. He proved to me that the left arm had only one purpose: keep it straight when hitting the ball. He liked what he called my baseball swing and told me not to change it.<​​/p>

A patient soul agreed to play with me during my learning stage.We began playing at a public golf course. At this time, alligators were allowed in the ponds and lakes of some golf courses. On one of this course's par 3 water holes, a large Florida alligator had taken up residence.<​​/p>

The alligator didn't scare me as much as trying to get over the water did. Of all the balls retrieved from this lake, mine were probably most of them. But one day my luck changed.<​​/p>

I hit my ball into the water as usual but it landed on the back of the alligator and bounced onto the green, almost into the hole. I putted it for a birdie.<​​/p>

I was happy when I improved enough to play with the men. They cheat a lot. I learned to hang my putter in the hole on the green and if the ball was within the leather of the putter, they called it a "gimme" and I didn't have to putt it.<​​/p>

I used this technique once when I first joined a ladies' group and I thought they were going to attack me with their putters.<​​/p>

On the private course we eventually joined, there was another par 3 water hole that I was always able to hit over. However, one day when I was playing with my husband, my ball landed in the lake. It made me angry. I hit another ball without even trying to aim and it flew over the water, landing straight into the hole on the green.<​​/p>

There were people on the other side who saw only my "recover shot.” They started clapping and jumping up and down, thinking I had a hole-in-one. When we reached them, they were shocked at my calm demeanor and wanted to know why I wasn't excited. I hated to tell them it was my second shot.<​​/p>

On number 10 of the private course, there was a long narrow lake with houses bordering one side. The owners of these houses had tried for years to get ducks to stay in their lake. Finally, one duck, the only one on the entire golf course, decided to make this lake its home.<​​/p>

I nearly always hit a straight ball. One of my husband's friends who played with us used to say about my shots, "Hey diddle diddle, straight down the middle.”<​​/p>

One morning when I was playing with the ladies on number 10, I did not hit straight down the middle but instead I pulled the club to the left and my ball hit the duck on the side of its head.<​​/p>

The duck's bloody head immediately went limp and dropped down against the breast feathers. Loud gasping sounds erupted from the duck's throat.<​​/p>

I couldn't stand it and refused to continue playing. I went to one of the houses and called the pro shop, asking them to rescue the duck from the middle of the lake.<​​/p>

When they arrived, the duck's head was erect again. It was breathing normally but I could see the bloody spot around its eye.<​​/p>

All afternoon I worried about the duck. The worry continued through my son's evening baseball game. I was certain the duck had a concussion. When the game was over, I insisted on going back to check. I found the duck swimming around like nothing had happened.<​​/p>

My son won't let me forget this event. When we play on my course, which is usually full of birds on the fairway, in the water or beside the water, he says, "Mom, don't try to get a birdie."<​​/p>

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Great Story!!! Glad you took up golf and you and the duck lived to tell about it.

Funny story especially the play-on words at the ending.

Well that is really a good story. Knowing you I can imagine that you would be good at golf. I admire anyone who can play and will forward this to all my male golfing friends.
Imagine how great
you will play after your cataract surgery!! The ducks will be safer, for sure.

This was such a fun story. Except for the duck...He didn't have such a great time, but I enjoyed it.

Like others, I love this story except for an egregious
misstatement: that men cheat a lot on the golf course. The truth is we just play much better. I wish Jackie would admit that.

Anyway, I will forgive her for this lapse in judgment
about us men. She makes up for it with this funny quack, quack duck story.

Funny, funny. I could see you trying to get little helmets for the ducks.... LOL

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