I spend a lot of time golfing with a couple who live just up the street. The two of them golf together on a regular basis. It is interesting to see. There are certain dynamics in that relationship that we could all learn from. It is common practice, at the end of a round, to shake hands with the rest of your group. This couple, regardless of circumstances, regardless of how the round went, will give each other a kiss. As much as that would be a good practice for all couples I am not sure I know many that could pull it off.
He has a down to earth, realistic approach to golf. He knows all the techniques. He follows golf closely, reads all the golf magazines. Tries to learn from what he sees and reads. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But he sticks with it. She, on the other hand, has a different approach. She has her own pars that she guns for. The 11th hole at Kingswood is a tough one. It is part of a four hole stretch that is sometimes referred to as Amen Corner. It used to be the 9th hole before changes were made to the “track”. So her par for the hole is 9. If she gets 9 or better she is ecstatic. If it is worse than 9 she just mutters “amen”.
The other day, when she showed significant excitement after one hole, he gave her a dry look and suggested that there are no pictures on the scorecard, just memories. I chuckled. Then I thought about it and, in my usual way, drew a life lesson out of that.
We often take pictures to go along with our memories. Whether it is at a wedding, on a vacation, at family get-togethers, when nature shows off her beauty, or many other occasions when life gives us a Kodak moment. However, there are times when a camera is not available, something happens to fast to snap a picture at just the right moment. For an example, try taking a picture of lightning. We miss the moment and are left with only memories. Trust me. Sometimes that is a good thing. I can only imagine some of the pictures I would have if a camera were always around. It would bring back memories of events that are best left forgotten. Those embarrassing moments. Those “oh crap” experiences. Sometimes a poor memory is a good thing.
You know that certain left hander that I have often referred to in the past? The guy that I used to compete with, or at least tried, in a weekly golf outing? The one that found out last fall that he had cancer? The good news is he had surgery and is cancer free today. He has struggled this year to get back on the golf course. But like I knew he would, he fought back mentally and physically to overcome his setback and get back on the course. He went out by himself this last week and, wouldn’t you know it, got a hole in one. That’s the good news. The bad news is he was by himself. I recall last year, when I spent many an hour by myself on the golf course, thinking it would suck getting a hole in one if nobody was there to witness it. The feat is the same. The memory will always be there. However, that is an experience that is most fulfilling if it is witnessed by others, particularly your usual golfing buddies. I am betting he wishes that he had a picture. A video even.
Life gives us many memories. There are good ones. There are bad ones. The key is being able to filter out the bad ones and focus on the good ones. Sometimes we need reminders of the good things that have happened in our lives. To forget about the bad experiences. And if we are lucky, we have pictures, not just scorecards, to bring back the good memories. Make it a good one.