Not Necessarily The News In Hoke
By Ken MacDonald
I was chillin’ at Atlantic Beach over the weekend with other newspaper-type folks from around southeastern North Carolina when the subject of golf came up. That’s because the storyteller was none other than Pat Taylor, advertising guru from the Southern Pines Pilot, and over there, it’s just about U.S. Open time, so golf is the ONLY subject in that neck of the woods.
He asked if I’d ever heard the story of how a certain golf award came into existence. It seems, he told me, that the fellow for whom the award was named was teeing off in a tournament and his ball whacked a fellow player on the forehead. It then ricocheted to the groin of a second player. A third player instinctively dodged the ball only to fall into a ditch and injure himself too.
Quite an image, huh?
I could picture it because I could top it, or at least match it.
Some of the details have been lost to memory, but perhaps 15 years ago, when my uncle was down from Washington, D.C. to visit, he suggested a round of golf at what was then Arabia Golf Course.
He, perhaps one of my brothers, a friend, and I were about to tee off on the first hole when another party came up behind us.
Comfortable in the knowledge that we were all pathetic golfers, and certainly not desiring an audience, one of us suggested to a gentleman in the group that they play through, a phrase we employed to pretend we actually did know something about golf.
“No, that’s okay,” the guy said. “Go ahead.”
I remember sheepish looks passed from the eyes of each of our group to the others as we tried to decide who would step up to perform before an audience of all these golfers.
My uncle was the least sheepish, though he shouldn’t have been.
He retrieved a club and ball from his bag, stepped up to the tee, placed the ball and began stroke preparations, testing the wind and such.
A couple of practice swings, then WHACK!
All our heads followed its trajectory as it shot straight up, reached the zenith directly above our heads and then began its plummet slightly behind us, where it plopped into the golf bag of one of the players in the other group.
Everybody, and I do mean everybody, was deathly still for a moment.
Then, as we watched, the guy in the other group calmly retrieved a club from his bag and said, “I believe we’ll play through.”