dad (a.k.a., poppy) was a scratch golfer—impressive considering until his mid twenties the only birdie he had ever known was the little one that “told me so” .
in fact, he just shot a 68 the other day, and he’s 75 years old.
but with all the rounds he had played in between, with all the company trophies he had collected, with all the bets he had won, the hole-in-one remained the one elusive achievement he sought in order to complete his rather extraordinary hobby.
a triumph he nearly had given up on.
and in the later years leading up to his eventual hole-in-one, his disdain for lesser golfers grew exponentially, as every monday he read in silent agony the newark star ledgers’s weekly list of new jersey’s newly anointed in gory detail.
he seethed at the wrong clubs selection and the measly distances hit.
he roiled, if they were older … and female … and wheelchaired.
he fast was becoming a truly miserable man—his personal disappoint approaching a water hazard darkness.
that is, until he finally entered the elite club himself a few years back, around his seventieth birthday.
and thank god he did!
for had he not, today would surely have been the day.
the day he would have written an eloquent note of farewell in his best, eighth grade, award winning penmanship, chained himself to his golf bag, and sloshed his lowly life into the murky brown depths of the tenth fairway pond on his beloved mews golf course to drown in golf’s purpose unfulfilled.
for today he would have heard the story of a pennsylvania lady hitting her first hole-in-one on a pond protected green, similar to his own fond tenth.
a blind pennsylvania lady.
a blind pennsylvania lady who had the same chance of making a hole-in-one as a sighted person hitting a ball into the darkness of a new moon night with a blindfold on.
putting aside my suspicions about her feat, since it was only she and her husband playing (and we all know men will do the darnedest things for a chance to have—well, you fill in the blanks), true or not true, the very possibility would have been too much for poppy.
poppy—a man who would have certainly succumbed to the throes of duffers’ torment.