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Golf with John

When you have the free time afforded to retirees, you discover that you can spend more time with friends — in person, by phone, through email or even via instant messaging. It’s unfortunate that when we are busy with our jobs, we always seem to put that off simply due to lack of time. The last few days I’ve had the pleasure of a visit from an old friend (friendship is old, not the friend) for a few days of golf, eating, drinking, talking, Jacuzzi, NBA basketball, etc. John and I have known each other since we both graduated from college (different colleges) and began working at Control Data (remember them?). Back in the old days when we worked together, John and I played on company softball and football teams. He was a great athlete — and I helped complete the roster.

Most of you know that I love golf. Well, that was not always the case. I didn’t take up golf until I was about 47 years old. Prior to that time, my attitude was “When I’m too old to do anything else, I’ll take up golf”. Actually, John was the source of that quote. Over time, I had experienced the nagging injuries and other conditions that slow down your baseball/softball and football participation — so I eventually took up golf. Independently and unknown to me, John did the same, albeit a few years later. Good thing — I needed the head start so I could finally best him at some form of competition — for a while, anyway.

So now John schedules a trip to Arizona about once a year for several days of golf — and with a wonderful co-incidence, time to visit his daughter who currently lives in the Phoenix area.  This year, I arranged tee times at three nice courses in the area — McCormick Ranch, the Phoenician and the Golf Club at Vistoso (in Tucson). 

The weather was great — high temperatures in the low to mid-70s, clear blue skies (for the most part) and very little wind.  We had a wonderful time, both on and off the course.  Our golf skill has improved and we play competently with neither of us having a big advantage.  However, I can’t say that either one of us is ready for the Senior PGA tour, but we really enjoyed both the golf and the time together.

An aside: friends have asked me what my favorite course is in Arizona.  After pondering the question for a while, my answer is as follows.  If you define “favorite course” as the one you would play if your doctors told you that you had an incurable, fatal disease; only one week to live and could play golf only one more time — I would say the Phoenician Oasis/Canyon combination.  This is the one we played on Friday.  It was in great shape — although the tricky greens ate us alive.

BTW, this photo is of my favorite hole at the Phoenician, the last hole of the Oasis 9. It is challenging but fair. A par-5 where you have to clear the water in the foreground but not hit the water at the far side (out of view). Then dogleg right where you have to keep it on the fairway along the water until you hit over the water onto the green. Awesome!

Back to the subject at hand: one of the most interesting aspects of seeing old friends is the fact that it seems like no time has passed since your last get-together — it’s like you just pick up the conversation where you left off, no matter if it was a few weeks or several years ago.  So, even if you are still working, do take time in the near future to contact an old friend.  You both will be better for having done it.  A lifetime of friendship beats hours in front of a computer screen (or whatever fills your professional life) every time.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com