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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Back Nine

When my parents lived in the community where Doug and I own our home, one of my mom's favorite things to do was to get out on the golf course, late in the day, when all the regular golfers were done, and buzz around the course, working on shots, and just generally having a good time on the course. The back nine of the Mission Lakes golf course were among her favorite holes, especially 10-11-12, the signature holes of the golf course. So today I felt like I needed to get out on the back nine and honor her memory and enjoy something that she truly loved.

It was a hot, sunny breezy afternoon.  I got off the 10th tee with a decent tee shot and as romantic and wonderful as it would've been to par the hole, I reverted to form and shanked a few before I finally got the ball in the hole. I didn't care. It was wonderful being out there thinking about my mom's love of the game. She was a great golfer and I always wanted to be as good as she was. I seriously doubt I'll ever get there but it's fun to think about it as I plod along. Hole number 11 is a gorgeous hole high above the rest of the course. It's a very challenging hole but lots of fun to play. I hit a perfect tee shot and then flew my second shot into the desert. But I took a little detour into the wilderness and found four other balls. It was so gorgeous up on the hillside. I just loved being up there. Hole 12 was easily my mom's favorite golf hole.  The tee towers above the green and it takes a solid shot to land it on the green far below. I was very happy that I did not scuff it into the desert! I didn't land it on the green, but I got safely down. I took a moment to look around. One day, we will scatter her remains on the desert landscape that surrounds this hole. That has been her expressed desire for a long time now.
Some close friends of my folks live on the tee at 13 and they were sitting on their patio so we sat for a moment and chatted about Rose Ann. They agreed that “dinking” around the golf course late in the day was one of her favorite things to do. When I got to 17, I had to laugh remembering the time when Doug first met my folks. He was thrilled that they lived on a golf course and glad that my folks were into golf. The first time we played with my parents, on 17, Doug was in a sand trap and he sculled the ball in such a manner that it flew out of the sand at a perpendicular angle to his lie and smacked my mom right in the belly! We were so glad that it wasn't a more dangerous hit. Doug was so embarrassed!
I hit a good tee shot on 18 and just smiled thinking about the way mom could belt the ball.  She was such a pro. In fact, my dad said to me yesterday that he felt if she had lived in this era, she could've been on the ladies pro tour. I think so too.
I ended my evening memorial round on hole no. 2, technically not on the back 9, but the hole that is close to our house and the place where mom had one of two of her holes in one.  I hit the first shot in the water. The second one made it over!  I doubt I'll ever get a hole a one.  My dad never did.  Doug has yet to.  It's just perfect that mom had 2.
It is likely I will not reach her skill level in my lifetime as she was a much better golfer at 52 than I presently am. But I feel inspired by her love of the game to keep at it and will always enjoy playing the back nine at Mission Lakes with her in my mind.
Today was near perfect. It could only have been better if Doug had been with. Oh, and well, mom too. Peace to her memory.