I heard a sad story from an older gentleman I was randomly paired with the other day.
We were stacked up three groups deep behind a foursome of elderly gentlemen who obviously were struggling with the game. From our position on the fairway, I watched one guy pull out the flag and put it down while another putted. Then a third guy put the flag back. I thought they were done. I was wrong. Guy number three went to the far side of the (large) green and putted toward the flag, whereupon one of the others pulled the flag again and set it down. Another guy putted, and the flag went back in. Then two of them went to their carts and stood for a while meddling with their bags before going back to the green. The flag came out again. More putting. This spectacle went on and on.
“They’re obviously confused,” I said to my playing partner. “If I ever get that confused about golf, I hope I have the good sense to give it up.”
“Never give up the game,” Mike said.
“I used to play a couple of times a week with a guy who was eighty five years old. His friends would pick him up and drive him to the course for the day. He only carried four clubs: a driver, two woods and a putter. Joe’d tee off, follow that up with a couple of shots with the woods, then pick up his ball and head to the green. Once we were all on, he’d drop his ball and putt to the hole. He’d play eighteen that way, and then spend the rest of the day sitting in the clubhouse.
“But a couple of years ago, Joe’s daughter decided that he couldn’t live on his own any more and made him move to a nursing home in Ohio. Three weeks later he was dead.”
“Never give up the game,” Mike repeated.