You know how I said I had a feeling I'd break 100 golfing during this trip. Well, I haven't, at least so far. But I came close. Today I went up to Stamford, Vermont, which is just a stone's throw from my in-laws' house (pictures on all of this when I get to a computer with USB). I always like to golf at a 9-hole course there, with a small shack that serves as the clubhouse. The shack, however, is gone, replaced by a beautiful new building with a wrap-around front porch that looks out on the Berkshire mountains, green from a spring -- and now a summer -- full of rain.
My father-in-law, Don Thurston, and I spent the morning after a night of rain trying to read the greens, and succeeded to varying degrees. Apparently the secret to improving my golf game is not to play; the game will correct itself. Why this philosophy has not worked in the previous 20 years, I cannot say, however. But today the drives were straight, if not long enough for me to make caveman sounds. And the putting was excellent and I settled for a 45. Although I choose to project that this would have been a 90 on 18 holes, thus qualifying for my desire to break 100 before my eventual death, I am at heart a Collins and so we consider such things as the liklihood of falling rocks in these projections. Given all of the possible calamities of another 9 holes, we stopped at 9 and chose, instead, to explore the wonders of Sam Adams and a ham and cheese club sandwich, leaving me -- at least for now -- content that I can golf.
New England courses are not like Minnesota courses. There are no houses built around them and they are, if nothing else, a good walk through nature. The greens are also usually slanted -- in some cases steeply -- and diabolical. The trees are mature in both stature and the ability to mock you in there own tree-like way.
When I left New England 14 years ago, I thought my golf game would improve as I left these courses for the flatter, more gentile (I thought) courses of Minnesota. But, alas, my average was over 100 when I lived here, it is over 100 now.
But for one night -- the night when I am sitting in a parked car on a deserted main street, ripping off a closed coffee shops wiFi, I can dream that I am a golfer.
At least until next time.
An interview with Tom Berge
2 weeks ago