It would have been a week ago Thursday, when my brother in law, Bob, invited me for a round amongst the beautiful vistas of his country club.
Surprisingly, there wasn’t that much anger, not even when I hit my five wood three times on No. 15 and still hadn’t made it to the green.
I shot an 84, which needs a big asterisk as we had to skip two holes on the front due to some construction. So we wrote down that we made pars. Don’t ask me why we didn’t write down birdies instead. One of those holes was No. 8. The last time I made a par on No. 8, I was still using a hot comb.
Bob and I were getting ready for our three days of golf at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia. We will need our best games to beat the likes of Bob’s brother, Dennis, who, at the age of 70-something, is still able to shoot 60-something.
Also, there will be Bob’s brother, Bill, who I introduced you to when he was terrorizing defenseless patrons at last year’s PGA Championship near St. Louis. The other two are brothers in law, like me. One will be our host, Colonel Mike, who is coming off a double knee surgery last fall. Dennis thinks that Colonel Mike should be giving him strokes since Colonel Mike is now bionic. Mike says no. I would have to agree with Colonel Mike. Dennis will never get strokes. Not even when he’s 100 and still shooting 80.
And you may remember our other brother, (in law) Bill, from his, how shall I put this, negotiation techniques regarding certain rules of the game. Like the time Bob and I were playing him and Dennis and I was going to hit my putt on 18 before Bob, to show him the line, even though I was closer. Bill yelled as I addressed my putt, “Whoa, you can’t putt first!”
“But you did the same thing just two holes ago,” I told him.
He didn’t flinch, and came back with, “But that don’t make it right.”
I’m pretty sure no one has ever won an argument against Bill.
Colonel Mike still grumbles about a match we had 20 or so years ago at North Hills, when Colonel Mike’s team won like 16 holes and he still owed Bill a dollar.
Then there was the time when they were all playing somewhere in Florida, at one of the more upscale resorts. I wasn’t on that trip. Anyway, the first day they were there the beer cart girl came up to them and they told her they needed eight beers from her. “Sure, that will be 56 dollars,” she told them. The next day they decided to bring their own beer with them. When the cart girl drove up, she asked them if they had bought the beer at the clubhouse. Bill later told me that none of them said a word, they just looked down at the ground, ashamed, like their mom had just caught them eating cookies before dinner.
Another trip I missed was when they went down to play at Southern Dunes in Orlando. On this trip they invited Dennis’ pal, Bob Franks. Bob is not as large as the rest of those guys and doesn’t look at dinner time as quite the religious experience the rest of them do. As Bob tells it, “We decided to cook some steaks at the condo the first night and about an hour before we ate, (bro in law) Bill walks out with a big plate full of fried pork chops. In a feeding frenzy, everyone dove in. I held back, fearing the loss of a finger or two. Then I asked Bill, ‘But I thought we were having steaks tonight.’
‘We are,’ he said. ‘These are just the appetizers.’”
Jay Edwards is a freelance columnist who can be reached at email@example.com.