By R.J. Smiley
The name on his name tag said Duke, but I met Drill, the ER Nurse, on a recent visit to a large hospital’s emergency room on a very busy Saturday night.
Drill entered the room in neatly fitted blue scrubs. He introduced himself as Drill, in a warm way and proceeded to ask his required questions. Then he asked about the logo on my golf shirt.
“I played that course once,” Drill said. As I looked up, Drill had assumed a very poor golfer’s stance with his hands in a grip-the-club position. He took sort of a practice swing.
As I explained to Drill that I was indeed a golfer, I took a closer look at him. Drill had a sculpted closely cropped beard and a haircut that used a lot of mousse to form a fish-fin peak along the top of his head. He carried on with a constant line of chatter, giving us his life history.
Drill was a hippy who had two kids early ”before I grew up”. He then spent eight years in the Army. “Were you a medic? Is that how you got into nursing?” I asked.
“No I started as a cook, but got tired of that so I transferred to an assistant in the dentist office. That’s where I got the name Drill.”
I told Drill that I had been in the golf business and still played a lot. This got him really fired up. He continued to ask golf questions: “How can I cure my slice, etc.”
He said that he loved golf even though he had been playing for just over a year. “As soon as I got a job and moved in with my girlfriend, also a nurse, I started playing golf.”
“Have you ever taken a lesson?” I asked.
“No but I do have a new set of golf clubs. I just could not hit my driver so I went to 2nd Swing. Boy those guys are good! The salesman watched me hit a few shots and said, ‘Drill, you are just a set of properly fitted clubs away from being a really good player.’ I left 2nd Swing with a new set of clubs and a new bag. Two days later, I went back and got that new putter he recommended.”
“My girlfriend, who is saving so she can go back to school and become a CRNA, you know a nurse anesthetists, was a little pissed.”
I told Drill that I was also a golf writer who writes monthly articles for Tee Times, the Minnesota golf magazine that looks like a newspaper. He asked, “Do you get to play golf free?”
“Often,” I said.
“And they pay you, also.”
“Wow! I wish I had a job like that. I am really working hard on my game. My first round this year was 131, but my last round I shot 91.” His eyes lowered, then he looked up and said with a grin, “The 91 was on an easy course.”
Drill vanished for a while attending to the other patients. Then returned with his fellow ER nurse and golf buddy, Kevin. “Hey Kevin, this is RJ, he is the writer I told you about. He writes for Tee Time and plays golf for free and they pay him. What a gig!”
“Where do you guys play?” I asked.
Kevin quickly said, “We belong to that Public Country Club so we play all over. Drill and I play twice a week and I get out a few more times. My wife likes for me to play. She likes the free time to do what she likes.”
Drill piped in, “Kevin is better than me but we started buying our golf balls 100 at a time on line. We got a deal, only $.75 per ball.”
I gave Drill a tip about a better body turn and keeping his left arm straight. Kevin returned and I suggested that these two golf want-to-bee’s should invest in an Orange Ball to improve their games. “The two of you could use it and it will make you more consistent.”
Drill said, “If I show up with another golf gadget she might kick me out.”
As I walked out of the ER, Drill said that he would be watching for Tee Times to read my stories. I said, “Who knows there might be a story about you, Drill.