18 Holes

Side By Side...

Friday today, and I played golf. My running gag used to be that I had played golf several times in my life and never hit 100…(pause)…and never played the back nine. First time I ever played was with my cousin Jack on the 9 hole course in Paradise where my folks were living at the time. Brings back memories…(yes, my relatives, Jack did play golf…more than once…)

18 today, and I intended to play alone. I got talked into playing in a golf tournament, and, since I play so seldom, I wanted to go out and just try stuff (mostly to make sure I didn’t embarass myself).

I’m standing on the first tee, and a guy pulls up in a cart and asks if I’d like company on my round. No…pause…he says ok…

I tee off, he does too, and I tell him to play on ahead (he’s clearly a much better golfer)…but he kind of hangs around and we finish the hole together. Same thing on #2…so…as we’re walking up to the second green I say “I’m Vern…” and we end up playing 15 holes together before he gets close to his house and goes home.

This guy (Bob!) is clearly close to a scratch golfer. I keep wondering why he wants to put up with my hack & chase. But he’s actually quite patient, and a good golf companion…not addicted with vocal diarrhea, and not trying to “fix” my game.

OK…the point…

sometimes it is really good to have a colleague come along side and just “be there” while you are trying to work things out. Even though he was 10 years older than I, just watching his swing, and approach to the game helped me improve.

Life is like that, I think. Humans, at some level, are just wired to be social. The trick is to be social at the level of comfort shared by both parties. And, perhaps most importantly, to be a support/mentor/friend when someone is trying to work things out.