In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Perfect Game.”
You’re set to play poker (or Scrabble or something else . . .) with a group of four. Write a story set during this game. Or, describe the ideal match: the players, the relationships — and the hidden rivalries.
I played golf for five years without a lesson when I won a month of golf lessons at a church raffle. A week after the lessons, I played in a local charity golf tournament. I partnered with the local high school principal. The other two of our foursome was a Irish Priest, and Southern Baptist Minister.
With a month of golf lessons and practice, I was excited and intimidated. My group had at least twenty years of golf experience individually.
On the morning of the tournament, my ten-year old daughter decided what I should wear. I wore a pair of navy blue pants, a white golf polo and black golf shoes. As she handed me my shoes, she rubbed them, telling me it was for good luck as I put my shoes on.
My golf lessons were paying off, because I Eagled for the first time at the 17th hole. It was a dog leg left, par-5 and my score was 95. I have never scored above 100. My group congratulated me with hand shakes, slaps on the back and Hi-5’s.
Everyone else in my group were enjoying their best golf games ever also. The scores of the two clergymen who are in the mid sixties, was a respectful 91 and 92. The fifty-nine year old school principal was at 89.
As we drove towards the eighteenth hole, everyone was excited with lively conversation about their golf game. Because I had the highest score, I teed off first. I made contact with the ball and it takes off from the golf tee into the air and it strikes a black bird flying across the fairway.
The ball bounces off the bird, into the wood line on the right side of the fairway. I’m shocked and amazed, while the rest of my group is laughing aloud as the bird flys away.
I take a Mulligan, and hit the ball again. My swing felt wired, as the group starts laughing. They says my swing looked like a Charles Barkley swing. (if you don’t know Mr. Barkley swing click the link)
The ball curved to the right into the area where my first ball landed. I am now standing in complete astonishment . Although, I have to admit, it was funny.
When the priest and minister teed off, neither of the balls made it in to the fairway. Both were in the woods like my ball. My partner the principal did not fare any better. We never found the first ball he hit.
It took me four more swings to make it to the greens and the rest took five and six swings. We all wanted to, two putt the greens just to put the hole behind us, or so we thought.At age 35, I was intimidated by my groups years of golf knowledge. I also did not want to laugh at the clergymen. So I bit my lip to avoid laughing when they hacked their way to the eighteenth green.
The Priest putted first and he wrapped his Rosary around the putter. He sprinkled some Holly Water on the head of his putter all while saying a prayer. At six feet away, he six putted the eighteenth hole. He used several choice words walking to the golf cart. None of the words any child and most adults should hear.
The Baptist minister placed his putter on a mini bible, and said a prayer while kissing them both. He five putted the hole from five feet away. His choice of words made me and the school principal blush.
The principal yelled & cursed at his putter, like it was a Marine recruit on the first day of training. He four putted the hole from two feet out. He cursed so much after taking his ball out of the hole, that he had to sit down to relax and compose himself.
As I approached my ball, I remembered my daughter rubbing my shoes for luck. I rubbed my shoes and two putted twelve inches away from the hole.
The charity golf tournament was a success raising monies for the women’s shelter. I never again played with anyone from my group. I never understood why I played so well for seventeen holes and the last hole was a disaster.
I guess it was the golf Gods teaching me not to be over confident. When I arrived home, my daughter asked did I enjoy my golf game. I told her that it went very well.
For several years after the golf tournament, the Irish Priest never maintained a conversation when ever I saw him around the church.