Snapping Steel

You know, I like Gheever anyway. He’s a funny guy, he loves American football & he is enthusiastic about all kinds of stuff, which makes me get excited too.
The fact that he is a greenskeeper at a prestigious golf course is just an added bonus.
In fact, I was a little apprehensive when he asked me to come and play 9 holes with him last friday. Not only did I have the concern that he is quite a good player & I am not, but I hadn’t even been on a course in 5 years! As with most males, I was worried that my sense of machismo was going to be dealt a fateful blow. As the Gheevatron happily blasted golf balls into the stratosphere, I would relegated to piddly little grounders, struggling to raise above the level of the crewcut-like grass.
The course itself was beautiful, and Gheever, gracious. A quiet and thoughtful comment or two about my stance, and an observation or two about his swing & I managed to connect with a shot or two & rescue my manhood!
Actually, in the end, I left with a great sense of accomplishment. But to grasp this sense of virility, I need to introduce the third player in this little story. That player is Ben Green, or more accurately, the golf clubs of Ben Green.
I knew they were old & had a fair bit of wear, so I was not as nervous about asking to borrow them. The sparse collection suited my playing ability, because my choice of club was restricted to the very few in the bag.
Then on the 13th hole, my opportunity for choice became lessened by one. Taking a big swing at a ball on the fairway, I managed to top the ball & send it flying (flying is a slight misnomer, since the flight gained less altitude than the Wright Brothers on their maiden voyage), followed, enthusiastically by the whole head of the 3 iron, neatly snapped at the point where it joins the shaft of the club.
Equal parts fear (at breaking another man’s club) and pride flooded my brain. I was worried about Greeny being angry, but on the other hand, what kind of monster stroke lay, dormant, behind the man who could snap a metal club?
Feeling like a Titan, I approached the next couple of holes, waiting for my immense power to connect properly with a ball & send it to kingdom come.
But it wasn’t to be.
3 holes later, I had a nice little chip shot to make, maybe 40 meters, to get to the green. The chip came through, the ball flew well, but the 7 iron never left it. On a weak little chip, my second club had snapped clean through, and in a formation that was so comical, that it hardly seems true, the club head drifted off with the ball, till, after 5 or so meters, it overtook it & continued on it’s merry way alone!!!
It turns out that the clubs were old. They had been bought from a garage sale for a couple of bucks & Greeny himself had already snapped an iron himself.
My sense of masculinity returned to its normal state, but fortunately my sense of enjoyment continued on a high for the rest of that afternoon & well into the night.
A good shot at golf can be an exhilarating experience. But far more enjoyable, and far more rewarding is the pleasure of good company over a fun afternoon with a thoughtful and considerate guy who was kind enough to invite me to a course I’d otherwise never be able to enter.
I may not be an steel-snapping tough man, but it’s more than enough that Gheever thought me a nice enough guy to invite along for the afternoon.
Thanks Gheever!


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