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Making Memories on the Course

by Jeff Skinner

I’ve been trying to play this game of golf for over half my life and each time I tee it up I am hoping that this is the time I get it right.  As everyone knows, we never get it right.  While I will never get it right each time I am on the course at least I walk away with a memory.  Some memories are good, some are grand and some are the kind you wish you could forget.  I’ve had some memorable days on the course, both playing and watching golf.  I’ve played some awesome courses with many an awesome partner.

With a game like mine I have to revel in the small moments that make a round fun.  I’ll never break par so a birdie here or there is something to be cherished.  Usually it’s the day’s experience that makes the day memorable and not my play.  I’ve watched plenty of professionals play for majors and titles and that is great but it’s usually the company I keep on the course that makes the day for me.

Playing with my brothers and sons is what usually floats my boat.  On days that I get my game going and shoot a low score it’s always better when shared with my best buddies.  I have been lucky enough to score an ace, on a lucky bounce, and I know the thrill was enhanced because one on my sons was there to see it.

And I don’t even have to play well to have an unforgettable day.  One of my best golfing memories was the day when my brother and I got waxed by my two sons in a match of “Old Skinner vs Young Skinner.”  We got taken to the cleaners and dinner afterwards was on us but so very worth it.

Today marks the third anniversary of what at the time I thought was one of my greatest golf memories.  Three years ago I spent the day inside the ropes following Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover on moving day at The Deutsche Bank Championship.  Woods still had his “pre-scandal” aura and Glover had just won the U.S. Open.  At the time it was absolutely amazing that a hack like me was able to watch the best in the game so close up.

We all know what happened a few months later as Tiger’s life crashed and burned.  And that tainted my memory of that day with Woods and Glover.  I had been fooled like the rest of us to believe that Tiger was what we saw him as.  The best golfer in the world who at times can take such great lengths to keep his private life private he seems like a brute.

I know better now but I was naïve enough to believe that what people say is the truth.  I’ve been that way all my life, been burned by it before and will again but that’s the way I am.

So, maybe I’ve learned a lesson or two about placing expectations on people.  Or maybe I haven’t, but what I do know is that the best memories I can make on the course won’t be with my clubs or watching the pros.  They’ll come from the time spent playing with my best buds.  It’s time for a rematch with those kids.

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