As the local golf season coasts to a close and golfers throughout the North Country begin to pack their clubs and frustrations away for another merciful respite, I'm compelled to report an incident that recently came to my attention involving my friend Ted and that diabolical sport.
When you hang around with a person for 40 years, you think you know just about everything about him, but my friend Ted has such a deep reservoir of ungainly mishaps that they may not all surface in twice that amount of time.
Before I get to that notable misstep, however, a little background may be in order. I was never a very good golfer, but when I played often as a kid, I was passable. The same could be said of another old friend and running mate, now-retired P-R Sports Editor Bob Goetz.
One day, we all arranged a match: Goetz and I would break out the old clubs against Ted and then-P-R Sports Editor Ed Stransenback.
Ed was a scratch golfer. So was Ted: As soon as he hit the ball, he'd scratch his head in wonderment over what had gone wrong.
Ed would hit a booming drive and wait for the rest of us to catch up. Ted, invariably, would swing every bit as hard as Ed but watch as his ball would head down the fairway before turning sharply right, or bounce along so short that he'd barely have to change his stance for his second shot.
Remember the old "Honeymooners" episode in which Norton coached Ralph on addressing the ball before hitting it? Ted addressed the ball after hitting it, and not in flattering terms. He called it names that any physiologist would assure could not apply to a golf ball.