There was Bruce in 1966 and then there’s Bruce in 2016. For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed attending golf tournaments. I love standing behind the tee and watching the top pros hit the ball high and far. Sometimes it feels like it will never come down. Then, as the golfers head down the fairway, I motor down the rough, either pausing where their balls stopped or stepping up the pace towards the green to watch the approach shots.
Back in 1966, I’d walk 36 holes every day, following one group in the morning and another in the afternoon. Feeling my oats. In 2016, however, my feet are saying no to such heroics. I saw 27 holes on Thursday, about 23 on Friday, and 18 yesterday. But so what? I was out there seeing Brooke Henderson hit the ball. My feet were really sore at the end of the day. But my soul was singing.
I love the journey of golf. I’m not the type to plunk myself down by a green and watch 50 golfers parade through. There are the agonies and ecstasies of 18 holes, and I want to see them. A well placed cushioning pad on my left foot diminished the pain and allowed me to be there to see Brooke fall and rise.
I developed blood clots a few years ago in my left leg. They’re now dissolved, thanks to the medication I’ll be taking for the rest of my life. But the leg really swells up on long car trips or lengthy ambles over the green grass … if left unattended. Attention means wearing compression stockings – long black fellows that come almost to the knee. In winter, I don’t give a hoot, but warm weather produces a t-shirt and shorts on my bod, so my stockings are in full view. There have been times in the last two years when I’ve been too embarrassed to wear them, and I’ve paid the price. This week, my black legs are on display. People stare a bit. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to them to see an “old” fellow boogieing down the rough in search of golf shots. Oh well. It makes great sense to me.
There will come a time when I won’t be able to walk near Brooke for a full round. I’ll be sitting beside that green holding a cold one. But that time is not now. In two hours, I’ll be standing near the first tee as she hits her initial shot of the day. I’ll be all decked out in designer black, ready to ramble. It makes me happy.