*For me, the worst part of playing golf, by far, has always been hitting the ball. Dave Barry
Our Awkward Moments story in June—we had twelve of them— brought up one for reader Doug Nelson, but wound up being a pretty sweet memory.
About 15 years ago, my buddy Mark and I skipped work to play at a local course that caters mainly to the blue collar guy and for years displayed a sign near the first tee that read: SHIRTS REQUIRED ON FIRST TEE. On this particular day, the course was slammed and there might have been a dozen golfers mulling around as I teed off on number one. Not being used to an audience, I over gunned my driver which resulted in a low, left screamer that ricocheted off the "shirts required" signpost and did a 90 into the clubhouse sliding glass door which exploded and somehow tossed my ball back into the fairway, 50 yards in front of the tee box. There was a monent of stunned silence and I turned to Mark and said rather sheepishly," you're up." He calmly ripped one about 240 down the middle and without another word, we hopped in the cart and drove off.
__ By the time we reached my ball, the shaken but amiable owner's son had emerged from the clubhouse and I immediately apologized and offered to cover the glass damage. "Don't worry about it" he said laughingly," but you sure scared the hell out of me!" With that, we continued on, though I really don't remember much about the rest of the round... Several years later, my buddy Mark, who recently passed, aced the 11th at the same course, and turned to me and said with an unforgettable smile, "you're up!" Needless to say, these very real moments on the golf course take on special qualities with the passing of my friend. So long, buddy, we miss you.