FORE!

The nine hole golf course that runs along our creek trail has temporarily shut down operations.  The course hasn’t been in good shape in forever but it’s always been a good place for kids, seniors, and beginners of all ages to play golf in a casual atmosphere without worry of being too slow or not very good.  The course may re-open but for now it is closed down.

Kali and I thought this was a great opportunity to change up our routine and go off course and walk the fairways that parallel the creek trail.

Kali has watched the golfers over the months as we walk along the trail and apparently she has had a greater interest in the game than I was aware of.    As we walked onto the fourth hole and passed by the tee box Kali stopped and looked at the yardage sign.  She then magically pulled out a driver from thin air.  Poof!  She sized up the yardage and decided even though she was a lady she could handle the extra 10 yards from the men’s tees and casually walked towards the tee box.

I guess I'll be hitting from the red teas. After all I am a lady...

“I want to be just like dad and hit from the white tees”

Kali is a rule follower  So once she spotted the closed sign she began having second thoughts.

Aware now that I was in a magical world where dogs play golf I convinced Kali it would be ok to play the hole and that we wouldn’t get in trouble.  After all, who would think that a dog would be playing golf.  That’s ridiculous!  Anyway, this was more like fetch with graphite sticks…

“I’m a rule follower and maybe we shouldn’t do this dad”

Kali stepped into the tee box gazing down the fairway.  A  thought bubble appeared over her head:  “Grip it and rip it!”.  She hits a monster drive about 240 yards down the center of the fairway.  Her ball (a “pink lady”) comes to a stop about a hundred feet from the green

We walk the 240 yards to Kali’s ball and since we have the course to ourselves she decides to take a break.  She lies down to savor the shot and she’s now getting visions of grandeur.  Thought bubble, “a chip and putt and down in three for birdie”!

This game is easy!

This game is easy!

As I know all too well after a great shot if one gets too cocky the golf Gods have a way of knocking you down and reminding you that you’re mortal.  Golf is a humbling game indeed.  Kali stands up, approaches her ball and asks me for her pitching wedge.  I realize that an entire set of clubs is now hanging of my shoulder and I’m wearing white overalls.  Great!  I am now Kali’s daddy-caddy…  I hand her the wedge and as Kali addresses the ball another thought bubble appears over her head:  “Drop it in from 100 yards for Eagle?  No, don’t get greedy.  Just get it close for the gimme putt and walk off with the Bird”.  Kali swings and shanks her ball into the green side bunker.  She looks at me with frustration.  The golf Gods snicker.  Kali walks to the bunker and shouts out at me orders me, “Sand wedge”…

It turns out, like me, Kali is not very good at getting out of the sand.  She takes a hack and the ball shoots straight into the side of the bunker.  It’s totally plugged.  Uh-oh.  Kali growls at the sand and glares at me.  Thought bubble:  “Don’t say a word”.  If I didn’t know better I would have thought I heard a few curse words under those growls.  But Kali wouldn’t do that.  On the other hand golf has a way of bringing out the worst in casual players like Kali and I…

Dad, I don't find any humor in your comment 'Just another day at the beach'.

Dad, I don’t find any humor in your comment ‘Just another day at the beach’.

Kali takes another hack at the ball and it (amazingly) shoots straight up in the air landing on the green with back spin and rolls towards the hole resting about 6 feet from the cup.  She’s laying four with a very makeable six foot uphill putt.  I think to myself that if this was my first round of golf I’d be very happy with a bogie on this par 4.

6 foot uphill with a slight break to the left. I've got this.

Finally on the green.  OK, 6 foot uphill with a slight break to the left. I’ve got this.

Kali:  “Putter pleeeeeassse”.  Thought bubble over my head:  “I’m never caddying for her again”.

Kali lines up her putt as the gallery of birds and squirrels watch in anticipation.  She addresses the ball, takes a short back stroke and strikes the ball.  It rolls gently up the slight uphill and just like she read it the ball breaks ever so slightly to the left.  Rolling, rolling, and stopping just 6 inches short of the cup.  Kali taps in for double bogie, takes the Pink Lady out of the cup and throws it at the geese assembled near the next tee box.  Poor form.  And she didn’t even yell “fore”…

So goes the first, and probably last, one hole round of golf for my Golden Kali.  Like so many rounds I’ve played it started out great and somewhere along the way went bad.

Kali quickly shook off the bad “round” of golf.  I mean literally shook off all the sand that was in her coat from the two hacks out of the bunker.  We continued along our walk both knowing that being together on a beautiful day like today was par for the course.  And par for our course is just fine for us.

Another beautiful day in a Golden Paradise.

Another beautiful day in a Golden Paradise.

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