Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We'll Do It Again Next Summer

When the cashier at the golf pro shop says, "I don't need to see your ID.  I know who you are," is it time to admit you're hanging out too much at the golf course?

That's what I heard today when grandson, Landon, and I checked in at the pro shop.  It's not that I know this man personally.  It's just that Landon was the 6th grandchild I've brought to golf at this course in the last 8 weeks.  After chuckling about the frequency of my visits, I told the pro that I would be back tomorrow with the 7th grandchild to complete my summer odyssey -  the good Lord willing and the rain holds off!

We had a wonderful day on the course, despite having to dodge a few raindrops here and there.  Not enough to require umbrellas, but we did have to lower the club protector awning on the back of the golf cart. Guess I spoke a little hastily yesterday about the golf God having given us such good weather all summer.

Landon had brought his own set of junior clubs, but used a good number of mine.  As with the others, I introduced him to my hybrid club.  After using it for a few holes, he asked about the price of a new one.  After hearing the amount, he observed that he didn't golf enough for that, so he thought he'd see if he could find a used one!  Pretty savvy economics.

Landon's golf swing is pretty fast and hard, propelled from the same mindset he uses when playing baseball I suspect. Slowing him down for putting proved to be a real challenge. He found a rhythm on the fairway that he could manage with my hybrid or one of his clubs, but his putting looked more like the final game in the World Series of ping pong. By the end of 9 holes, however, he was pretty much in the groove, and actually ended up with a double bogie on each of the last two holes.  Like a seasoned golfer, he quickly declared those his two favorite holes on the course.

Before we got to the course, we had stopped at a local gas station to pick up a couple of "Arnie Palmers" in a bottle.  Landon was sure this was going to bring us good luck and it did seem to help him if he took a swig prior to hitting a fairway shot.  I have to admit I sneaked a drink occasionally, thinking it might help my game, but Arnie wasn't as good to me.

We were both surprised to find Grandpa waiting for us near the green when we got to the 9th tee box.  Grandpa had one of his 4 football drafts today, so we hadn't expected him to serve as gallery for us.  After teeing off, with Grandpa watching, Landon's second shot on the 9th went into the bunker.  Thinking I was doing him a favor, I picked it up and threw it on the grass so he wouldn't have to struggle with what I figured could be humiliation in front of Grandpa. Since he hadn't been in a bunker all day, and knowing the problems I have in a bunker, I was trying to spare him! I should have known better.

Not afraid of trying any shot he was faced with, he asked me to put the ball back in the sandtrap because he wanted to try a bunker shot.  His pitching wedge out of the trap was almost picture perfect, landing about 5 feet from the pin. He was pretty tickled to have done so well in front of Gramps! And I learned not to presume.

Our apres-game bite-to-eat had to be inside today since the patio was a bit damp from the rain.  But Landon didn't seem to mind, as he and Grandpa quickly launched into a discussion of the football players Grandpa had just drafted, supplemented by the printout Grandpa had brought of the recent picks.  As they discussed the pros and cons of the choices, I was tickled with this evidence of the respect Grandpa held for Landon's sports' knowledge.  Feeling a little left out of this part of the day, I was happy to find a friend of mine eating at the table next to us, so I could turn my attention to more "girly" things while the men talked football.

Though just having turned 12 this month, Landon is a real sports nut.  He has played baseball and football for many years and last year took up basketball for the first time. He has a knowledge of sports that rivals that of most adult men.  I marvel when I observe him holding his own talking sports with my husband.  I'm the first to admit I know diddly squat about most sports, despite loving golf.  On the way home from the golf course, Landon tried to explain to me what a football "tight end" does.  When he heard my neutral grunts and saw the blank expression on my face, he politely started talking about golf instead, subtly acknowledging my sports deficiencies, while taking advantage of the fact that I was at least willing to share my course time with him.  

I'm amazed at how much fun this golf odyssey has been so far.  I'm delighted at how polite and grateful these kids all are for this time together.  The day ended with Landon saying "Thank you, Grandma,"  and then pumping his fist when I responded, "You're welcome.  We'll do it again next summer."  It sure doesn't take much for a grandchild to think a grandparent is pretty special ... and vice versa.

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