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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Golfing in Minnesota...

Well, I was able to golf 45 holes during my visit home to Minnesota. First, I golfed with my friends from grade school, Hank, Joe and Orr, last Saturday in Siren, Wisconsin (very close to Hank's cabin). I shot horribly - a 114. I don't think I have had that high a score in quite some time. My excuses, though, are legion. I was using borrowed clubs, it was my first time golfing in almost a year, it was a course I was not very familiar with, and the temperature was about 98 degrees.

I golfed 9 holes with Jerry up near Pelican Rapids, and I used an extra set of clubs that he has. They were Fat Shafts - the same as my clubs - so I shot better. Not great, but certainly better than the first round. We didn't keep score since it was just nice to get out and walk around in the cool air (low 60s). Noah walked along (you can still do that in rural Minnesota!) and we let him hit a few balls off the tee and putt a few on the greens. He did pretty well considering he hasn't played before and he was using right handed clubs when he is left handed.

The last round was yesterday at River Oaks in Cottage Grove. The weather was again good, despite a few short showers on the last four holes. This time I used my nephew's clubs. I played better - a 95, or 19 strokes better than last Saturday - but I still have a long way to go. My round was typified by what I did on the 18th hole. It's a relatively long - 481 yards - par 5, dogleg left, uphill all the way. My drive was very good - long and on the right side of the fairway. I decided to hit a 3-wood off the deck and really connected well with it. Because the hole was uphill I didn't see the result of my shot until we all got up by the green. My second shot was on the green, about 20 feet short of the hole. So I was putting for eagle! I only have two eagles in almost forty years of golfing, so legitimate eagle attempts are not very common. Anyway, my eagle putt was the correct length but four feet to the right. My birdie putt missed right and I tapped in for par. Now par isn't a bad result for me, but an eagle would have been a lot better. Maybe when we get back I can play more often and improve my game.

Here is the motley group I played with at River Oaks. On the left is Lowell, who I met around 1984. He is an all-purpose friend who over the years I have golfed and played cards with. He is retired from the Government. In the middle is my brother-in-law, Dan. He married my oldest sister in 1968, but he was hanging around the house long before then. So I have known him for probably 43 years or so. On the right is Hank. I met Hank around the fourth grade, which would have been in about 1968, so I have known him for almost 40 years. No matter how long we go without seeing each other (and sometimes it's for a year or more because I have lived in Saudi Arabia and Ohio throughout the years) we can always egt together and it seems like old times.

The three of them represent over 100 years of friendship for me. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun with these guys and I can't wait until we get the opportunity to do it again.

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