For someone who claims to be a golfer, shooting a score in the mid 90's is not something to tell my friends about. Golf is a sport of honor, and to alert your friends to such a poor round would be like admitting your girlfriend dumped you, and it wasn't a "mutual decision." However, there is a single instance in which I don't care what the scorecard reflects: playing with Nick. Though some golfers prefer playing in tournaments with new, shiny drivers and caddies at their beck and call, I'll take a round of golf with Nick, on perhaps the worst golf course known to man, Hillcrest Golf Club, over playing in any country-club tournament.
Now, you've got to understand my friend Nick. He already scored perfectly on the PSAT Math section his sophomore year, has a workaholic lawyer for a dad, and recently informed his parents that in lieu of attending college he wants to become a postman...he already owns the perfect vehicle for the job: a broken-down 1982 Jeep CJ5. His meteoric rise from hapless hacker at the local par-3 course to All-Region Golf Team honors is also noteworthy.
One must also take into account the misery that is Hillcrest Golf Club. Only here can someone find golfers so drunk they spin doughnuts on the 14th green and crash their cart into the lake. As a tractor pulled the cart from its watery grave, one of the men was heard to say to his rescuers, "Hey, I don't see my driver in my bag, ya'll better find it." Nor would you find male golfers over two hundred fifty pounds with no shirt on wearing cutoff jean shorts at many other golf courses. As you can see, it is no light claim to say I would rather play here than a well-groomed country club.
Almost every summer morning at the crack of dawn, Nick rolls up our b...
... middle of paper ...
...ame I can neither pronounce nor spell. Our conversation at T.J.'s is not restricted to golf, as it would be in fancy clubhouses after tournaments, but rather open to any subject we care to discuss, from Chemistry class next year to the best Steve Miller Band song.
Finally, the experiences and times Nick and I share together are more valuable to me than any golden trophy. Some of the funniest and most relaxing times in my life have come out on the links with Nick. We don't care about the score, our shots, or even the round. Nor do we care if the course has only two cuts of grass: rough and green. So even though I'll never win one of those shiny first place trophies playing with Nick, the first call I make every summer I go home is the same number, and when I hear Nick's familiar voice, I smile just anticipating the sound of his CJ reverberating up the driveway.
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