Friday, July 01, 2005

You Know You're Getting Old ...

When I was in my late teens and early 20s, my golf buddy and I would meet at Oso Beach Municipal in Corpus Christi around 4 or 4:30 in the summer afternoons. We could easily get in 18 holes before the sun went down, walking and carrying our bags.

One day, we were paired up on the first tee with two older gentlemen, probably in their 70s. They were engrossed in conversation when we walked up to introduce ourselves. Turns out they were comparing notes on bowel movements. My friend and I were regaled for the entire round with stories of the old guys' latest medical problems.

They were very nice guys and, let's face it, medical problems are an unfortunate topic of conversation for most older people. My friend and I, as young'uns are wont to do, reminded each other several times throughout the round, "If I start talking about my bowel movements when I get old, stop me!"

Don't worry. This post isn't about my bowel movements (I'm not old enough yet to start telling those tales). But is about how golfers' attitudes and conversations change as we get older.

A couple days ago I headed out to the course in the mid-afternoon, around 2:30. It was hot, close to 100 degrees. These were the types of days I walked 15 years ago, carrying a bag. I recall hundreds of rounds in Corpus, not to mention Sinton, Kingsville, Alice and other literal hot spots inland from Corpus Christi. We wouldn't be caught dead walking back in those days - carts were for wusses.

Of course, during this round a couple days ago we got a cart. I played great the front nine, but as soon as we stepped to No. 10, I crated. The heat had completely sapped me, and my partner, too. Our swings were gone. Even my putting stroke abandoned me. We shuffled to and from the cart focused more on the next water stop than the next shot.

It's not that you know you're getting old when you ride in heat that you used to only walk in, and it still saps your strength anyway. You know you're getting old when you talk about doing that as you're doing it.

You know:

"Man, remember when we used to walk on days like this?"

Man, are we old. It's a good thing neither of us is incontinent (yet) or we would've talked about that, too.

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