Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hail to Our Seniors

On Tuesday afternoon, the temperatures had dropped into the mid-40s and the rain which had begun nearly 36 hours previously was still coming down as if a faucet was left wide open in the skies above.

From the comfortable perch of the MGA media center at Pembroke Country Club, we watched as more than 100 dedicated senior amateurs made it around the course. The same was happening 10 miles away at the sister course of Indian Pond Country Club.

Each competitor walked to the scoring table one after another with rain still dripping from every part of their rain suits. They feverishly tried to find a dry spot on their paper scorecards to write in their final scores.

Meanwhile on the 12th green, I saw two MGA officials taking turns standing alongside the green. When there was a break between groups, they would run to the green surface, push any standing water over the back of the green so that the next group could proceed. They began this tag-team operation during the early morning and did not stop until late afternoon.

Throughout the entire day, there was not one complaint or one foul word uttered. In fact, it was amazing how jovial and downright positive the atmosphere was. A total of 118 teams – many of whom traveled upwards of two hours to compete at the MGA Senior Four-Ball – came prepared with everything including great attitudes.

Instead of going home or asking for another tee time, we heard the following.

“You can’t change the weather.”

“It could be worse.”

“Tomorrow will be better.”

“The courses held up great.”

And remember that each and every one of those players and rules officials had taken a day off of work or a day away from their home and loved ones to be there. It’s not what you would think of when you envision a free day but there they were… wet, cold and playing and officiating golf in some of the worst conditions possible.

But what happened at the MGA Senior Four-Ball was special. And special is a perfect word for the sport of golf.

Regardless of one’s age, gender, skill level or even the weather outside… golf brings people together and unites them in a way that helps build lasting friendship and true character.

I did not have the opportunity to play golf when I was young, but I did play plenty of soccer. I can honestly say that memories of the days playing in what felt like puddles up to my knees and snow covering my cleats are clear today as they ever were. I have no recollection of being cold or unhappy. I just remember enjoying the game I love.

Golf is our game and the love for it was evident this week.

It seems only fitting that we take a minute to watch a fun video produced by the USGA called, "A Lot to Love About Golf

So we could not go one more minute without saluting the competitors, the rules officials and the staff at every club that was open on Monday and Tuesday. Your heart and love for the sport is inspiring, and we hope that everyone will look back with a chuckle and say “Remember that day when we played in the…”

Those are memories for a lifetime. Thank you for letting us be a passenger on your journey this week.

Posted by Becky Blaeser, who marveled at the toughness of the competitors but was comfy under her eight layers!