Straight Down The Middle

I love golf.  And today I was loving golf in Cambridge, where the top women professionals are playing this week.  I’m at the Travelodge tonight and will be heading back to the course tomorrow morning.

I especially love women’s golf.  Why, you may ask?  It’s not just because they’re pretty (but that is a factor).  The best, however, is that many of them smile and have fun with the gallery. I want famous people to be friendly, to be nice human beings, folks that I’d enjoy having a coffee with.

Today I followed a 17-year-old Canadian girl – Brooke Henderson.  You should have seen her after the round, signing autographs for kids and other human beings.  She smiled and made eye contact.  Lovely.

I think that a good golf swing is a thing of beauty, especially the full follow through after the club contacts the ball.  Many times today, with Brooke and other women, I was close by as they teed off.  I was so taken with the pose at the end of the swing that I usually didn’t even watch where the ball was going.  Power and grace.  And one example of full self-expression.

In other moments, the flight of the ball held me.  When I hit a ball, it’s always coming down by the time I lift my head on the follow though.  Not these women.  The ball climbs and climbs … touching Spirit on high.

Of course there’s the world of golf scores and who’s in first place and who gets to hoist the championship trophy.  That’s good, but it’s the moments that enthrall me, not the cumulative result.  Some of golf’s moments are ecstatic and some are devastating, but they’re all symbols for the roller coaster that each of us lives.

Another reality today was that I got really tired.  My feet and legs had enough of sidehill walking through fescue grass.  And despite my water bottle, I got dehydrated in the sun.  I told myself this morning that I’d walk 36 holes, but in fact I did 16.  I retreated to a tent housing some energy company, and the attendant there kindly allowed me to sit down for awhile in the shade.  We had a lovely talk and she was happy to take a copy of Jody’s book.

Tomorrow I’m into grass once more.  Sure I’d like to see Brooke play well and make the 36-hole cut but it’s far more important to see the balls fly and the mouths turn upwards.  The soul soars.

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