My best friend — II

We had only a month left together, so we  decided to make the most

of it.Golf was the only way we knew how to enjoy ourselves without facing the sorrow of separation. No matter what is going on, golf helps you forget by making you concentrate on the  task at hand? beating the guy you’re playing with?  and that was good enough for us.We played and the time flew, and soon we found ourselves in what we realized was our final  round together. We had tried to ignore it for so long, but now it hung over us. The only way to shake it was to continue  the eighteen. When all was said and done, we finished the game. Our scores were average. He beat me by three strokes.Matt had to be home so he could wake up early in the morning and head out. We stood at the practice green waiting for his mother to come get him. Finally, she arrived.

“It was a pleasure playing with you.” I held out my hand. He shook, and

then I half-hugged him, like boys do when they want to be men. I saw him off the next morning.

He played on a tour at his new home, and I competed also. One day, I received a letter in the mail. It was a scorecard and a picture of the leader board. Matt was atop it. He finally won.

Over the years, I received many scorecards from Matt (unfortunately more than I sent him). I keep them in my golf bag for good luck.

I guess the magic of golf isn’t the course, or the swing, or the sound you hear when you hit a solid 3-iron. It’s the feeling you get when you beat  your best friend, or lose to him, for that matter. And sooner or later you realize that you didn’t play every week because you were golfers; you played because you were good friends.