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Speaking softly and no longer carrying a big stick

Posted by   /  November 28, 2017  /  No Comments

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Me on the right at St. Andrews, Scotland, 1987

By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer

One afternoon after classes got out at my university, several of us headed to the golf course for a few holes before the sun went down.

After a couple holes, we noticed two guys and a woman about to catch up with us, so we stopped to let them play through.

They were folk singers Peter, Paul and Mary, who were to be in concert that night.

On another occasion, we played the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. As we were about to tee off, I looked back in hopes the group waiting on the tee wasn’t watching closely in case I whiffed. In the group was James Bond — actor Sean Connery.

(No, I didn’t whiff.)

One time in Casa Grande, our golf cart flipped over, tossing my partner and I into some water. Unhurt, we laughed for hours.

I’ve had a hole-in-one at Sun Lakes and won the President’s Cup at San Marcos Golf Resort, where I’ve played for 35 years.

Golf has been a big part of my life since college days, providing many memories, good shots, bad shots and, as meaningful as the game itself, the comaraderie of competing friends, win or lose. (And those $5 Nassaus.)

Like for the athletes who leave their games because they are no longer able to perform because of age or injury, the day comes when it’s all over.

At 75, my mind and desire to play are sharp, but physically, I can no longer finish 18 holes or enjoy the time on the course.

I gave it one more try last Sunday, thinking it might all come back to the time when I could compete.

Not going to happen.

Put the big sticks away for good.

So, who will replace me?

I see where Tiger Woods is healthy again and playing for a comeback.

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