Golf is a game that tells people more about themselves than they would care to know. -Intellectual Shaman

My uncle was a short Irish catholic with a leprechaun grin. He’d take me golfing.

“Be ready to suit up in the morning,” he said. “We’re going to catch the early bird.”

In middle school, I was not an early riser. I’d be stiff for the first 9 holes and I’d tell my uncle.

“You know what this is?” He said. “The smallest violin.”

Those mornings were the best of my life. He’d pick me up and I knew I had to get my clubs into his SUV in less than 30 seconds or he would drive off. My uncle maintained a religious schedule down to the second. He followed his own rules and neglected the traffic laws. We’d be driving along and he’d tell me, “We have 3 minutes and 42 seconds to get there to beat my fastest time.” He’d be driving 15 over the speed limit and see a rusted bolt along the roadside. Then he’d slam on the breaks and jump out.

“Hold that, will you?” And we’d be a minute slower than anticipated.

“Christ!” He said. “The traffic was terrible today.”

My uncle was bowlegged when he walked. He entered the pro shop and pulled out his credit card.

“The Berry twosome,” He said.

“Yeah, I have you down for 7:30. Are you walking or riding?”

“We’re walkin; we have to play the whole course.”

“That’ll be 16 dollars for you and 12 for the kid. You’re up when you’re ready.”

“Remember Andy, you drive for show and you putt for dough.”

We’d walk out to the practice green and he’d straddle his ball with his mallet putter. Two putts and he was ready to tee off.

The marshal on the 1st hole checked his card.

“What’s the record here?” My uncle asked.

“54.”

My uncle always bogeyed the 1st hole. “Put me down for a fiver,” he said.

“I need to get some new golf clubs,” I told him.

“It’s not what you have, but what you do with them,” he replied.

He teed up on the par 3 and bladed his 9 iron down the fairway. It rolled towards the pin and slammed in.

“A hole in 1!” I cried. “We’d better take a picture.”

“I’ll tell you what; you break 80 and I’ll buy you a new golf club.”

It was a heck of a round with burgers afterward. My uncle added up the score card.

“You broke the record today,” he laughed. “For 9 holes.”

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