It actually happened!
There exists a phenomenon among people that whenever parting ways we always feel the need to say things like, “We should get dinner together sometime.”
While it’s possible there are actual intentions behind the words, it’s usually just being polite and that aforementioned dinner is never going to happen.
Nowhere is this truer than in golf. If you’ve ever found out that a fringe friend or co-worker is also a golfer, there’s roughly a 100 percent chance that one of you mentioned golfing together in the future. I’m willing to bet that round has never happened.
This has been the case with me more times than I can count, especially because of this column. I absolutely love talking golf with people in real life, but why do I insist on saying that we should play together sometime? I know it’s not going to happen. You know it’s not going to happen. Schedules are just too hard to align.
But you know what? It actually happened!
My co-worker Steve at the good ol’ United States Postal Service is a fellow golfer and we’ve talked about our rounds on more than one occasion. He’s also a reader of this column, which is pretty cool. He recently read my article about golfing solo, came into the office and said, “I read your article and it broke my heart. Let’s play on Tuesday.”
So we did.
We went up to The Vineyards Golf Course in Fredonia. It was the day after those two women aced the same hole while playing in the same foursome. Crazy! Of course we joked about upstaging them and doing that on two holes (spoiler alert: it didn’t happen).
The round started…poorly. You know the drill. You’re playing with someone you’ve never played with before. Not only that, but three of my friends were standing behind the tee box watching us hit. You could probably guess by now that I hit my tee shot about 20 feet. Lovely.
Thankfully the round got better as I hit the green with my next shot and actually played relatively well for the rest of the day, including pars on Nos. 4, 7 and 9, none of which are easy holes.
Steve also played well, I thought. He has a very nice easy drive that found the fairway far more often than not. He was solid on the greens, too. I had him at exactly two putts on every hole. Any round with no three-putts is good in my book.
While we were playing, I didn’t realize that I was actually having an off day on the green, but my final tally was 18 putts. I’m usually closer to 15 or 16, so that’s something to keep an eye on. I consider myself a good putter, but perhaps that’s not the case.
The best part of golfing with someone new is sharing anecdotes. I have some great golf stories, but my usual circle of friends has already heard them. Steve gave me a new audience. Not only that, but I love hearing other people’s golf stories. My favorite one of his was about a ball hitting the very edge of a cart path, shooting 90 degrees across the fairway into a pond. Amazing.
Not only is Steve a co-worker now, but one of his sons went to school with my brother since kindergarten. They played baseball together and were friends for a long time. Steve’s wife is also a lovely lady who retired recently, so I got to hear what she’s been up to.
Isn’t that one of the many great parts of golf? Steve and I see each other regularly in the office yet have never had a chance to talk like we did on the golf course. Yes, we were enjoying the sport, but the company was even more important. It was one of my more enjoyable rounds of the season, no doubt.
My next article will be a special one as it’ll be about a round with my brother-in-law, who is a huge reason why I love golf as much as I do. I haven’t seen him in two years, so it’ll be another round where the actual score hardly matters.
Until then, golf is great. Go get some.
Stefan Gestwicki is an OBSERVER contributing writer. Comments on this article can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.