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Big Roy

By R.J. Smiley

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With matching clothes, big cigars and soft country music, Big Roy was an unusual golf partner.

Roy is one of my new golf friends in my Florida golf group. Like all new golf friends it takes a while to get to know them and their peculiar habits on the golf course. From a player’s standpoint, Roy is a true golfer. He has put in the time on the range throughout his lifetime; and Roy is a very good putter. He continues to work on his game hitting balls almost every day. He owns a set of PXG clubs and has been to a variety of golf schools.

Roy is also a clotheshorse. He has a closet full of size 13 golf shoes from a variety of manufactures in a variety of colors. Roy would give Doug Sanders a run for his clothing money. No matter what his color of choice, Roy has a pair of golf shoes to match. The same is true for his selection of golf caps. If his color for the day is black and yellow, Roy will show up in black shoes with yellow shoelaces. His black slacks, with the little vents cut into the cuff, will accent the yellow golf shirt with black accents. Of course his golf cap will be a yellow with a black brim. His yellow web belt serves as icing on the wardrobe cake.

Roy is a great pick in the blind draw, after the round, format that my new golf group uses. He is big and strong and hits it a mile, though often a little off-line. As I was telling an old golf buddy the other day: “If Roy hits five drives, one will be off the world. One will be drilled very long and straight, down the middle, making every hole on the course a possible birdie hole. The other three will be a collection of moderately effective hooks, slices and tops. Roy can top it 240 yards.

Roy always rides, and he prefers to ride a cart by himself. If you happen to ride with Roy or if you get close to his cart, you will be serenaded by the sweet sorrowful sounds of country music story telling, from a variety of artists. Roy never forces the music on you and keeps his cart far enough away from greens and tees that it is not a problem for other players in his foursome. Country music is just part of Roy’s life on the golf course.

As we make the turn, Roy makes a trip up to the grill and gets a beer or two in those aluminum bottles. Brand of beers vary with the wind direction. It is at the turn that Roy fires up one of his very expensive cigars. Roy never makes a spectacle out of anything that he does on the golf course, but golfers in his group quickly notice that Roy has fired one up. Most guys attempt to stay up-wind. To a non-smoker, these cigars seem very strong. The fog they produce seems to hang in the air in a condensed form even when the breeze freshens.

Though the stogie grows shorter hole-by-hole, Roy’s cigar seems to last forever. Usually on about the seventeenth green the aroma is suddenly gone. He never chews his cigar, he seems to respect it.

Over the more than 65 years on the golf course, I have found that most golfers seem to blend into the background of the golf course. That statement is certainly not true for my new friend Roy who presents a bigger than life image with his size, clothing, music and cigars.

Oh yes, Roy and I won last week after the blind draw.

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