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In my previous blog, I spoke of having played seven of the top 20 golf courses in Pennsylvania. The caveat of doing that was that I had not paid to play any of them. Due to RCN, Lafayette, and a couple of “Joes”, I had managed to be a guest at all seven.
You can find the courses listed on this site: Golf Magazine’s 20 Best PA Golf Courses and the ones I played on my previous blog.
I bring this up, because on July 2, I was supposed to play my 8th – the Philadelphia Cricket Club, which is #4 on the list. Once again, this was as a guest. I was prepared to put another checkmark on my bucket list. That morning (7:31 AM) I received this e-mail – “There are no carts out today due to the week’s heavy rains. Any issues or concerns?”
For me, there were both “issues” and “concerns”. I had no idea if this would be a difficult walk and, at 75, the last thing I wanted to do was hold up my three playing partners, all of whom were much younger and had lower handicaps. I did not wish to spoil their enjoyment. As disappointed as I was, I told them to play without me and enjoy the day.
At 8:49 AM, this email arrived: “Good news- Joe bailed us out with a tee time at Saucon/Old Course at 12:30 today. Let’s meet around noon and hit a few balls.” This great golf course has been the venue of many PGA events with the Senior Open coming up next year. I have played it before, but it is a golfing treasure. Any opportunity to play it is certainly special. This past Friday was no exception. The course was in magnificent condition; the golf was good; and the camaraderie and the friendly insults were flying. It was what a day of golf should be.
More importantly, I continue to be amazed by friendships that offer benefits far beyond my ability to reciprocate. The best I could do here was to give my hosts Saucon Valley Senior Open golf hats as a token of my appreciation. Naturally, however, they gifted, not a sleeve of golf balls, but a BOX of golf balls (of course, they were Titleists). As you can see, it’s hard to balance their generosity.
The final line of the last email said, “I will circulate some alternate Cricket dates and we can reschedule that visit, too.”
In conclusion, I WILL get to play the Philadelphia Cricket Club (#4 on the list of Pennsylvania’s best courses) this summer.
I think you would agree that the early disappointment caused by the “no carts” rule at the Cricket Club was more than overcome by what transpired the rest of that Friday and what is certain to be another memorable round of golf in the future. I am not sure why I am so fortunate and I am not sure how I will ever repay their generosity, but the list of things I am thankful for is constantly growing – friendships being near the very top of the list.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- Did you watch golf’s The Match – Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson vs. Aaron Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau? On the second hole, Mickelson made the comment, “We’re not in a rush”. And they were not. The round was not good television – little drama, with few great shots by the pros, and much, much too long. Thank goodness for Aaron Rodgers. His shots, especially his putts, made for some enjoyment.
- It was announced this week that there will be no fans at the Olympics in Tokyo. Does this mean that those who have the rights to broadcast the events are disheartened or secretly smiling? Now the only way for anyone and everyone to get their Olympic “fix” is by watching the events on television. And, ironically, it is because of television that the Olympics will go on. 75% of the IOC’s income for the Olympics comes from television rights estimated to be worth $3 to $4 billion.
- It has been a long time since I set aside the time to watch the MLB All-Star game and an even longer time set aside for the Home Run Derby. But this Monday and Tuesday, I want to watch because of the LA Angels’ Shohei Ohtani. He is a two-position All-Star (pitcher and DH) and the modern day Babe Ruth. He will be in the HR Derby and he will also pitch in the game. He is worth watching.
- Speaking of All-Star games, 50 years ago, the All-Star game featured 22 Hall of Famers – Rod Carew, Brooks Robinson, Luis Aparicio, Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski, Reggie Jackson, Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Palmer, Johnny Bench, Willie McCovey, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Willie Stargell, Lou Brock, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Ferguson Jenkins, Juan Marichal and Roberto Clemente, who would sadly be there for the final time. The managers, the Orioles‘ Earl Weaver and the Reds‘ Sparky Anderson, are also in the Hall of Fame. This was the greatest collection of baseball talent on one field ever.