My grandfather was a semi-professional golfer and a railroad man. He always lived as close to the tracks as possible and built putting greens in his yards. I remember him fondly in the 60’s and early 70’s by his wardrobe. Burgandy or green polyester golf slacks worn with some autographed celebrity pro golf shirt – perfectly coordinated. When he went to work, he donned the blue and white striped coveralls, work boots, a red bandana around his neck and the penultimate railroad cap. His solid steel lunch box looked just as a railroad man’s should, strong and timely – and tucked inside its metal clasp was a golf clipping or sports page to read.
Grandpa encouraged me to play golf. He drove a pea green Mercedes to and from the round house – and felt a sense of style was important to work and sport. Because I was a coed during the Age of Aquarius, he had stronger opinions about my fashion sense on the links than he did about my novice skill set. He told me that regardless of how well I could play, it was important to be respectful of the game and look like I knew what I was doing and belonged on the course. That meant no floppy felt hats with straw flowers, no bell bottom jeans from the Sonny & Cher “after we broke up closet”, no shorts. I was to wear skorts and a matching top. I think he preferred polyester and secretly prayed I’d continue tennis lessons or learn to sail.
Last year I borrowed my Aunt’s set of golf clubs and found myself seriously under-tooled for the game. This year, I prepared for the upcoming matches with our Canadian friends Bonnie and Barry. I purchased a new 4 hybrid club and 2 new outfits, and dug out golf shirts, including a nice yellow LaSalle number, in preparation for the game. I heeded my grandfather’s advice. No cheesy CVS teeshirt for me! I purchased two completely in style outfits at the golf shop – the brand name is Loud Mouth, the other Puma. If I wasn’t playing in a foursome that got a seniors discount, the Puma outfit alone would’ve branded me as a Cougar-wanna-be. As you can clearly see by the photo, my Sponge Bob Square Pants neon yellow ball complements my outfit much like Grandpa Borden’s white belt really popped up the burgundy slacks.
I must admit the outfit complimented my sunny disposition and I scored an Eagle (one under par) for a score of 2 on the 5th hole. I was ecstatic. I have proof of my score here. This is the Swiss Army Golf Stroke Counter. It has a divot repair, counter (to 10), ball marker and brush for extra cleaning of golf dimples or finger nails on the right hand caused by digging a ball out of a trap or rough rather than be rude and hold up play. Grandpa would’ve been very proud. By the way, I just remembered how Grandpa always watched the Mickey Mouse show when my cousins and I were at his house.
Not if we weren’t there of course, he was devoted to televised golf tournaments – I believed all of his grandchildren learned to whisper very early. He loved Annette Funicello. She was the first Mouseketeer to sport breasts. No, don’t let me think he was lewd. I think he was just impressed with her eyebrows. Yet, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he was right there near St. Peter and Walt waiting to greet her the other day.
Grandpa also taught me about golf handicaps but never once considered handicapped golf hazards. Under the astute leadership of Governor Rick Scott, a former megabusinessman who made his fortune trading nursing homes for hospices before going into public service to cut government, the state is fully commitfed to the Americans Disabilities Act. Yesterday we learned the ADA is the reason for the new handicapped accessible ramp from 6th Avenue with no public parking for a quarter mile – to Indian Rocks Beach. If you can roll yourself a quarter of a mile down a congested boulevard with a bit of sand in your chair spokes the new beach ramp will enhance independent living. But, today, we learned of a visually impaired pond that despite a nasty slice off the tee, we simply couldn’t see. The ADA would be pleased with the blind sign.
Other less impressive highlights of our 18 holes are the sheer stamina and persistence it took to follow behind a threesome that barely moved their feet let alone the ball which set an all time record for a 5 hour game in 85 degree heat. That was made more pleasant and endurable by the Beer Wench who gave us a free beer. We must look thirsty, because when we paid for the game, the club master gave us coupons for 2 free beers each. I like a course that attends to the hydration needs of its patrons.
Unfortunately, Andersen’s puppy was waiting in Kitty’s unit and their feared it would be bored and eat its bedding. Marina waiting as well – she let us know her disapproval over our tardiness but we need not recall the details. We saved the beer coupons for the next game – we’ll cash them in between the 9th and 10th holes.
We shared cocktails on the deck, ate dinner at Marlin Darlin’s and had a nightcap listening to the surf. My last thought of the day was “Scored an Eagle, Gramps – lookin’ loud hope you are proud.”