Walter Sharp, a 52 year old a once a week hacker, was trying to find his golf swing. A series of events occurs that enhances his swing and he eventually becomes a world champion. Just when he reaches the pinnacle of success, with fame and fortune, the game bites back.
I stood on the first tee waiting my turn. The tee toss put me up last, which was my usual slot since high hole score drives last. Sylvester was up first. He is a good golfer with exceptional drive through the ball and significant wrist action at impact. His back swing is short, which is compensated by his propulsion from the back foot. His drive was excellent, down the middle and long. Raymond also is very good. He is a big burly fellow with strong arms and upper body. He stands close to the ball and makes a full turn at the top and then comes through hard. He hits it long but sometimes gets into a slice mode, which causes treks in the woods. He hit a long one from the tee with a slight fade but on the fairway. Homer is of slight build. He swings with his arms and little bending of the wrist. He doesn’t hit long but it is generally straight down the middle, which is where his drive landed.
I tried to remember the important swing thoughts that I had read about in the golf books and magazines. Keep your left arm straight, make a full turn, don’t bend the wrists, shift weight to the back foot on the back swing, don’t move the head, etc. When I addressed the ball, my mind was cluttered and I hit a weak drive of about 150 yards to the right of the fairway. It took me seven strokes to get the ball in the hole and my score for eighteen holes was 110. It was humiliating and embarrassing. Golf dejection is unique and it penetrates. It is not something that you can put aside. It gnaws and eats at you for a long time and you spend hours thinking of corrective action. The next time I play I will swing differently, but swing changes seem to be the norm for me. I knew I could do better, because every once in a while I would hit a good shot. Significant practice between outings was required. I purchased plastic balls and hit them every day in the back yard, but any meaningful improvement was not forthcoming.
Our foursome is not young. We are in our mid or late fifties. I am the youngest of the group at the age of 52. Homer and I do ad hoc engineering consulting intermittently, while Sylvester and Raymond are contractors. None of us are tied down to a job that could prevent mid week golf. My name is Walter Sharp. I am married to Myrna and we have one son Gregory who is a doctor at a Boston Hospital. I am an active engineering consultant specializing in rotating machinery components, such as bearing, seals and I also analyze the dynamics of rotating equipment. Homer is an excellent machinery designer and he contributes to many of my projects.
Sylvester has been playing golf for a long time and has a deep appreciation for the game. Sylvester however, is impetuous and impatient. He could not abide a crowded golf course that required waiting on every tee because of the proximity of the forward foursome. At times his impatience got us all some angry looks because Syl would hit too early and the ball would land too close to someone in the forward group. On several occasions we all would yell “Fore” to warn of an approaching ball and chastise Syl for his impatience.
My wife Myrna and I have one son who is a doctor in the Boston area. I confide in her my golfing problems and she is understanding and tries to provide encouragement, even though after a bad round I am irritable and mean spirited. She believes the exercise is good for my health. Perhaps golf is good for my physical health, but at times my mental health suffers.
Excerpted from "Fore" by Mr. Wilbur Shapiro. Copyright © 0 by Mr. Wilbur Shapiro. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Mr. Wilbur Shapiro
Wilbur Shapiro is retired from an engineering career that had spanned over 50 years. He has produced over 58 publications in the technical literature and 10 patents. He has always had a penchant for writing and Amos The Gifted is his fourth publication. He has made writing at an advanced age a second career. Mr. Shapiro resides in Albany, NY.
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