A salute to amateur golfers (and their caps)

The U.S. Amateur golf tournament will be played next week at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. I am not entered.

Not that I wouldn’t play given the chance. It’s just that after roughly 40 years of golf, I am grudgingly coming to the realization that there will be no tour, no green jacket, no claret jug for me. The high point of my career may just have been that glorious Saturday two decades ago when, at a charity scramble, I won a thermometer as a door prize.

My love-hate relationship with golf began in about seventh grade, when my dad coaxed me onto the course. I caddied for six summers at Oakwood Club in my hometown of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. There, I am convinced, I picked up every bad golf habit known to man.

A couple of years back, my brother sent me the Oakwood cap above. Curiously, the cap is incorrectly inscribed as “Oakwood CC.” This is not the first mislabeled artifact I’ve encountered from the Heights. At a high school debate tournament, the Heights High shop class adorned the trophies they made with footballs. They thought NFL stood for National Football League instead of National Forensics League.

But back to golf. I posed my Oakwood cap this afternoon by the edge of a sand trap. I am drawn to sand traps naturally and effortlessly. I employ different adjectives to describe my efforts to get out.

Life would be all the poorer without golf. I salute all the amateurs entered in the Open.

Go ahead and tee off without me, gents. I’m still tinkering with my swing. Maybe one of these days I’ll join you.

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