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Louie and I on the putting course

Louie has become a really good friend of mine. The only long time friendships I have come from the world of golf or loans, rarely both. Louie got me to the putting course at Riverview Golf Course this last March when I could barely walk. My Plantar Fascitiis and arthritis in my knees had become so bad that I was always in pain yet I have loved putting at this putting course for almost 30 years as it is an 18 hole lay out with long putts and 10 feet of break in any direction depending on how the greens keeper feels that week. Years ago the greens were so fast that on steep uphill holes if you were short the ball would roll right back down some 20 feet and the hole placements are perilous.

I rarely win in our stroke play tournaments, usually losing out by 1-2 strokes but it is such fun and first prize is a beer so we get to compete and have a beer after the 1st and 2nd rounds. We usually putt once a week and putt as many as 4 rounds. It is difficult to stay focused knowing I have to be 4 under par to have a chance to win and sometimes even then he rolls in an ace on 17 to inch ahead. As he loves to say: “It’s a business doing pleasure with you”. We laugh so much and if his overall game were as good as his putting game then he would be a real challenge when we play at Willowwick. I won’t give strokes and if you’re a 10 handicap even after a 2 year layoff I’ll still take the prize. I’ll talk about that round some other time but last week was the first time I’ve played 18 holes since 2012 and the 1st time I’ve played 25 holes in over 40 years.

So, we get done with the 1st putting round and we go into the clubhouse where The Golf Channel is playing and talking about the Ryder cup. As Louie discusses golf my response is that I really don’t care about professional golf competition and have never cared about the Ryder Cup, I’ve never in my life watched it. We banter back and forth and my position is that I look at golf from an analytic standpoint because of my swing knowledge and he watches all the tournaments from a spectator and entertainment point of view. I stopped watching just about all sports over 10 years ago and I’ve never seen Tiger Woods play a full day on a tournament, my position is golf tournaments show very few swings and that’s all I’m looking for.

So he moves on to Drivers and how he loves to hit it long and I respond it’s because you can’t score very low. He says no that’s not the reason and I say: ” What would you rather have a 76 or a 300 yard drive”? He of course said  76 so I said work on your short game and forget about the long ball. It’s nice to have a friendship where you can debate points of view without the potential of having the other person get angry. My feeling about hitting the ball long is to say what my grandfather said,  put the Driver away and you’ll score better and that the only reason golfers talk about hitting it long is because they can’t score. Their ego has to be validated with something so since they can’t score they chose to get puffed up by hitting it long. I said I’ve never hit it long, even when I was younger. There was never a need because the approach shot is what is important. We laughed at each other and went out for another round and we came back and I was buying again. It was the 3rd round after 2 beers that was eventful. Yes I lost by a stroke and we played two ball but I must have been 7 or 8 under and he was one shot better. I knocked in two aces on one hole and he followed with two aces on the same hole. We were hot and knew the break and speed by then and were putting lights out. It was a lot of fun. So I lost again but our beer limit is two so I’m on the prepay list for next time so we called it a day.

He wants me to play Los Lagos (a course I played for 15 years a long time ago during my days in tournament play), I said I didn’t want to play so far away and that at 62 I would only play from the Men’s Tee’s not the championship tees. We play for green fees so I said if you want me to play from the Blues then you have to give me odds. When I win I want double the green fees and he probably will go along with that which is fine with me because his last score there was a 90. We both have the same attitude. We don’t mind paying to play with a good player and we don’t want to tarnish it up by giving or taking strokes.

Even though I am a senior by many years my ball striking is “wicked” and I don’t have any putting yips. Staying healthy is now on my bucket list because I’m starting to play again. I could have sold a DVD on that round to a golfer we teamed up with, Louie brought that up so I think I bring a couple with me from now on. The fellow was having a terrible time at this lovely game.

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