Thursday, July 3, 2014

The inner course

The only trouble with emphasizing
the grandeur of the seaside holes
at Pebble Beach is that this may
promote the impression that the
inland holes are rather ordinary.
They are not.

Not being an actuary by nature, on-
ly recently did I calculate that
the Third of July, this year, would
be my father's 100th birthday. He
and I knew each other for more than
half our lives, and I think it is
striking that our relationship did
not change. We simply learned new
news of each other, shared further
experience, and with a constancy I
am old enough now to regard as un-
canny, if not as some aberration.

For I lack no confidence in what I
was to him; and on my end, no tally
can ever be completed. Even a gra-
cious acknowledgment oppresses me
now with its prematurity.

The things which characterised him
to others, through an outwardly el-
egant and inwardly stoical life, are
of no interest to them now, even as
they astound me with their balance.
The things that made him remarkable,
however - and I offer this certainty
especially to longtime readers here -
are commonplace, yet under-remarked.

For me (and I was not alone in this)
he was the man who lived helpfully,
and still does, demanding no proof
of need or capability. I watched him
build my brother, as a younger sib-
ling will observe such things. And
yet his club selection, when it came
to me, I did not even see, it was so
nuanced to my fairways.

Herbert Warren Wind
Following Through
  Golf Writings from
  The New Yorker
    Pebble Beach and the 
op. cit.


  1. The excerpt from Mr. Wind's writing almost brought me to tears. I have heard many men say that they will respect their fathers more than any other man, but never have I thought of the most obvious analogy to golf (of all things - "daddy needs to go play some golf"). Equality is apparently not a strong parenting trait it seems that an ineffective father would use the same club to hack away at different challenges. My father is still alive, so I haven't had to put such feelings into writing, but when I do, it may sound a lot like this. Thank you for expressing these feelings.

    1. I was aware of trying to remember my father for people who may still have a father, because I do. Thank you for your comment.