Nineteenth Hole

By Al Thomas

I am getting older and have been playing the course for quite awhile. Some holes have been good and there are a few shots I like to remember. Others I prefer to forget.

As I tee up alone on eighteen it is one of those doglegs so I canít see the flag where the game will end.

Making it to eighteen has not been easy. I am the last of my foursome as my friends and companions have dropped out along the way.

These last few shots are going to be more difficult. The electric buggy has quit and one of the wheels came off the golf cart I was pulling. Now I carry every club and they are getting rusty with age. My grip isnít as good it was.

Alone and addressing the ball I take a few minutes to recall my spouse who always patiently went along with my game either in person or on the sidelines. It has not been as good without her. Good buddies joined with their carts and sometimes helped repair mine. Occasional strangers let me play through. Once in awhile a helpful person would find that lost ball.

I chose this course and many times wondered why. It has been very challenging. There was one sandtrap I almost didnít make it out of. And that waterhole that got three of my balls. Fortunately I was able to add a few along the way.

I always kept on determined to play the game to the end. And here I am - getting pretty close.

The more I think about it the more I think about the good shots. Why commiserate over the bad ones. Thinking about the good stuff makes me feel good. I donít want to have sad thoughts as part of this last hole. There were so many other pleasant experiences and beautiful views along the way. Now I have a moment to think about them.

I donít know what is in the clubhouse. Donít recall the last time I was there. Hope the guy in charge will let me play another course as great as this one has been. Friends, companions, love. Canít ask for much more.

What club should I use?

There is no rush to finish this game.

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