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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN GOLF

I have had a one handicap in golf for most of my life.  Of course, that is per hole, which makes me a rather mediocre golfer.

Yesterday might have been my most impressive accomplishment in this game ever, for I walked 18 holes at the Ala Wai Golf Course in two hours and forty-two minutes.  It was raining at 15 Craigside and continued pouring on my drive to the course.  I should have just skipped playing, but parked my car anyway.  The raining stopped, so I got my gear together and signed up to walk on.  No one else was waiting, and you need at least two to start play.  A few minutes later a couple of people showed up and the three of us teed off at noon.  One was Nick, who I've played with on occasion here, and the other was Matt, who is the head starter at the Oahu Country Club, a course I can see from Craigside.  He normally can play for free at his course, but, as I said, it was raining quite hard throughout the island.  

No group was ahead of us until the 18th hole, so we could have completed the round is less than 2 hr 42 min if not for them.  I'm quite a bit surprised that I was able to accomplish this feat because I've never done this before.  I'm 76.  Both my knees the past few years have been problems, but the pain seems to have disappeared more recently.  After cataract surgery I am now at 20-20, for the first time since I can remember don't need to wear glasses to drive, and can see the ball rolling on the green at 250 yards.  My hearing, which has been marginal for decades, apparently is now back to about normal, a surprising result of an audiology test I just took.  

This renascence I realize is merely a temporary, and final, peak in my life, but this accomplishment yesterday inspired me to want to share with you some of my other golf highlights (like meeting people, to the right) and a few less so:
  • I once golfed almost every Tuesday and Thursday mornings with a group at the Ala Wai Golf Course.  One day I tripped near the green of the 15th hole and separated my shoulder.  I couldn't golf for two months, went to the driving range and could hardly hit the ball, but, nevertheless re-joined the group the following week and shot a 74.  The key was not swinging too hard.  You would think that would have been a lesson learned, but, no...
  • While I've golfed at places like Pebble Beach (where my hotel room lanai was next to the putting green), Greenbrier,  and Waialae (right), my international adventures are the more memorable:
      • To quote:   I might finally add that on one of these August adventures Grant and I accompanied Tadashi and his wife to the Royal Dublin Course, and we lost all 43 balls by the 5th hole.  We kept playing by finding other lost balls.  Tadashi and Mayumi are to the left and that Scottish-looking individual in the photo below is Grant.
      • Maybe my funniest golf experience involved that same Grant.  He grew up in Edinburgh and wrote most of REVENGE OF THE GREEN BUGGIES.  Click on that link, for it's worth a few minutes of your time.  It has to do with no doubt the most famous golf course in the world, St. Andrews.
      • A small group of us once golfed St. Andrews and Carnoustie on back to back days.  That was the year The Open was played at Carnoustie, and my hotel room was on the first floor between the first hole tee-off and eighteenth green.
    • Kenji's (that's him to the right) Golf Safari has been an annual affair for more than a decade.  I joined them a few years ago and we simply, usually around Las Vegas or Napa Valley, golf five or six days in a row and drink a lot of ethanol.  Here is just one posting of almost a hundred I've had of this experience.  Our next expedition is back to Napa in May.
    • I once took the same Tadashi (he is now president of Tokyo University of A&T) as above and his father to what was then called the Koolau Golf Course, said to be the toughest in the nation.  They each lost ten balls...on the first hole.
    Okay, not particularly impressive, but experienceful, enjoyable and memorable.  Tomorrow a few simple pleasures in life.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high, up 67 to 19,024, the first time ever in the 19,000s.  The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also broke their record highs.  This has been called the Trump Rally.

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    Otto just became a hurricane at 75 MPH and seems headed to the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Then, on into the Pacific Ocean:


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