Good friends, who now makes his permanent home in Green Valley, Arizona, had invited us over for a round of golf at their club. Followed the golf they surprised us with a party in their home. They were eager for us to get to know their friends and neighbors. When he introduced me to Alice (I must say that I had noticed her earlier when she entered the room), he explained that she was by far the best women player at their club. Alice had won the club championship for years and held the course record, an amazing score of 64. Alice had posted the score not once, but twice. When you first meet Alice it takes a few minutes to soak up the whole deal. At age 63, she still had the body of a high school cheerleader, and wore clothing to show it off. Alice was dressed in a sleeveless, yellow sun dress, cut low in front and well above her knees. The sundress let you know that everything beneath it was – ALL Alice. She had a full head of frizzy, sun bleached, blonde hair that said, my hair is clean but I don’t spend much time messing with it. The yellow dress accented her very Arizona, sun-tanned skin. On closer inspection, her skin revealed the damage that too much time in the sun will cause.
As I chatted with Alice and her husband, I learned that they had owned a driving range in Wyoming, their home state. Alice had won everything in Wyoming Women’s Championship Golf. As Alice and I visited we discovered that we both love “Tournament Golf”; where the thrill is the COMPETITION! Alice made a point of telling me that one of the things she enjoys the most is beating some “smart-ass” low handicapper – man – who thinks he can play. “I take him out on the course and just kick his ASS,” she explained with a twinkle in her sky blue eyes.
As the party continued I moved from group to group and met many fun and interesting people. The Green Valley group, from all over the US and Canada with a variety of backgrounds and education, treated me to a series of wonderful stories of golf and life experiences.
I struck up a conversation with Jane, a heavy woman, who had just recently “started to golf” (I hate that phrase – you don’t golf you “play golf”). When Jane learned that I had spent my life in the golf business, she told me how much FUN golf was and how much she ENJOYED the game. When I had had enough of this conversation, that was going nowhere, I caught Alice’s attention and motioned her to join the conversation.
We made and small talk for a few minute. I told Alice that Jane had recently started playing this wonderful game and that she thought golf was so much FUN. Jane was really into it, being part of a real golf conversation. She had no idea about practicing to get better or understanding grain on the greens. Then I turned to Alice and said, “Jane golfs for fun. Why do you play golf Alice? Do you play golf for FUN? Or do you play for the competitive part of game?”
The answer Alice gave, was the REAL ALICE, one that I will remember for as long as I live. Alice looked at Jane then at me then back to Jane. Staring directly into Jane’s eyes, Alice flatly stated: “Honey, I f#@* for fun!” Jane opened her mouth and started to say something but no words were appropriate. Total silence for an embarrassing moment!
I broke the tension with the following comment as Alice and I walked away, “most tournament golfers feel the same way. Nice to meet you Jane.”