Late Sunday morning at the American Falls Golf Course looked like the makings of a regular season tournament, when word spread about potentially good weather and one last chance for a little friendly competition.
The golf course was officially closed for the season, but it has remained unofficially open for play, as long as golfers respect the course and stay off the greens if any frost remains. Golfers, who must always referee themselves during a round, are pretty good about respecting those rules.
And Sunday was a beautiful day, as advertised. Nearly 20 golfers showed up (my how word spreads within that tight community), dressed in layers so as the temperature climbed, the outer layers of clothing came off.
Anxious to get the round started, my group jumped up on the first tee box to lead the group out. I’d taken the time to stroke a few putts to get the feel for the greens, but made a major mistake by failing to loosen up my old bones before swinging mightily at the first drive.
The hit was a relative success as the ball tracked slightly from left to right but ended up still within the confines of the fairway. The only problem was during that swing I felt a slight twinge in my lower back. Nothing major, no problem. Kind of like when you pick up a heavy package, using your back instead of your legs. You know you were wrong, but feel nothing at first.
The round progressed and the soreness kept ratcheting up, each swing becoming a little less aggressive than the one before. I kept it to myself as best as I could, but my golf cart partner couldn’t help noticing the problem based on the grunting noise I made each time I got in and out of the cart. Funny, but the back pain bothered me less on the swing than that in between time — trying to stand, bend over to tee up the ball, sit back down, etc.
As beautiful a day as it was, I was happy my partners gave me a tap in for par on the final hole. I just wished they’d picked up my ball and handed it to me, rather than slapping it back, forcing me to bend over and pick it up.
The round ended and the winners bought us losers a liquid refreshment as we enjoyed sitting outside on the benches, soaking up some 60 degree sunshine.
Getting up from that bench, however, was a chore, as was changing back into my street shoes from my golf shoes. It was one of the few times I’m a little disappointed that my pickup rides a little higher off the ground.
I finished off by starting my one little pity party by groaning as I walked into the house, with Nurse Debbie there to bring on the hot pad and help me settle in for the remainder of the afternoon NFL football action.
The back will be better in a couple days. I just have to make sure there’s no traffic as I walk across the street from The Press office to the parking lot. There won’t be a lot of running going on.