You may or may not be a fan of the game of golf. But during this week in Augusta, Georgia, there is a battle going on that equals the world series in the game of golf. It is a battle for the coveted “green jacket”…The Masters Tournament.
I first became aware of the tournament in 2003, the year that my husband had a massive stroke. Buck was never a big “sports” fan. No football or baseball interested him. One sport he did enjoy was the game of golf.
Buck always worked. He delivered newspapers as a kid and mowed lawns too. When he was a little older, he worked pumping gas and finally he caddied golf at the Soangetaha Country Club located in Galesburg, Illinois.
Here he learned some important lessons of life.
He grew to love the game and worked hard to learn the rules. During this time in his life he was a gangling teenager. He may have weighed 130 pounds soaking wet and was not yet his full height of six feet. He carried two bags of golf clubs, sometimes thirty-six holes.
One of his first lessons learned, was that “stingy” came easy to some people. His first tip was a dime. Hot and sweaty but not discouraged, he stuck with his job and learned the game fast. He developed the gift of gab and the art of remembering names. It came to serve him well. In the game of golf, one must learn patience and how to overcome discouragement, and how to depend on one’s self.
In 2003 we were in Knoxville, Iowa at the Veteran’s Rehab Center. On weekends the business building that housed all the administrative offices was closed but the lobby was open, and we were able to walk through empty halls to get there. The reason? There was a large screen television set and it was all ours. Because Buck knew golf and was able to follow the action, it was the perfect way for us to spend a Sunday afternoon.
This was the time of the “Tiger”. Tiger Woods made the game interesting, even for me, a beginner. On the weekend of the Masters Tournament we settled ourselves into our own private lobby and enjoyed the event.
So, even to this day sixteen years later, I enjoy watching and remembering the beautiful course at Augusta where the azaleas are blooming, and the grass is a brilliant green and Buck and I were alone together in the lobby.
“ No gimmes! No mulligans! No bullshit! Let’s play golf!” James Patterson, Miracle at Augusta