I told myself that I wasn't going to do this.
I was not going to play golf this summer when the temperature was in the 90s or higher. I used to do that when I was younger and dumber, but not anymore. Not since I'm a wise old graybeard now.
Anyway, Wednesday night I got an unexpected phone call from my friend Lee.
"Do you want to play golf tomorrow?" he asked.
My brain froze. The question didn't quite register. Golf? Tomorrow? Didn't I just hear it was supposed to be like 98 degrees?
"Isn't it supposed to be like 98 degrees?" I asked, repeating what my mind was telling me because when it's this hot, it's too much work to think. I was beginning to annoy myself.
"Don't worry," said Lee. "We'll tee off early and beat the heat."
Well, that's different.
"OK," I said. "See you in the morning."
What, am I nuts or something?
Understand that I love to play golf. I even thought that when I retired, I'd be playing golf all the time, but the reality is that it just hasn't happened. The last time I played golf was with Lee — last year. Almost to the day.
So I was kind of looking forward to this. And dreading it. What if I can't hit the ball anymore?
I got to the course by 8:30, unloaded my clubs and met the other guys in our foursome. I took a couple of practice swings to limber up — my first swings with a club in nearly a year — and then teed off. Amazingly, I kept the ball in the fairway, maybe 200 yards. Ended up with a bogey, which I'll take every time.
But I was already drenched in sweat.
"Well," I said to nobody in particular. "One down. Only 17 more to go."
We got through the round in decent shape. We all drank plenty of water, and I wore my wide-brimmed straw hat to cover my bald head. One of the odd things about this round was that I actually played pretty well despite my sabbatical from the game. This is a phenomenon I've noticed before. If I let a certain length of time go by between rounds — say a couple months or so — I seem to play well when I do go back out on the course again.
We played a kind of match play, so Lee and I — two righties — defeated the two other guys, both lefties — one up. We had them dormie by the 15th hole. I even sank a 20-foot putt for birdie at one point.
It took us just a little more than four hours to play the round. It was 79 degrees when we first teed off, and 94 degrees when we ended.
"That was fun," I said as we shook hands, hoping I'd never have to do this again. Maybe we can do this again in three months. It'll be October then.