My name is Kenny, my wife died last week. And I am lonely.
It is Masters week in the world of golf. One of my favorite times of the year as a spectator to a game I love. In watching the massive amount of coverage Gary Player, Hall of Famer in the world of golf was speaking to what he loved about the Masters and golf. ‘It is about the relationships. The relationships you make with golf are the best part of the sport, not the scorecard’ summed up Gary Player. It is so true.
I play golf, if I can, once a week, usually on a Tuesday. I am a member of Hermitage Golf Course, which is a very nice public course in my neighborhood. I generally like to walk the course and I enjoy joining in with complete strangers to learn their stories and share a little life. On this particular day, I felt as though going to a lesser quality public course nearby was a good idea. It is a nice walking course, but not nearly the challenge of golf. For whatever reason, I went.
I showed up, paid my money and got in line with a handful of other guys looking to play golf that day. I met a retired army veteran, Don, whom I had played golf with last year while playing with some friends. Don’t believe he remembered me, but I remembered him and we had a nice chat as he started sharing Vietnam stories with me again. While waiting for a spot on the tee another fella drove up and for whatever reason he & I ended up going off the tee.
The two of us tee’d off and were on our way. In the middle of that first fairway, we introduced ourselves to each other.
“Gavin Richardson, pleased to meet you.”
“I’m Kenny. My wife died recently. I’m really lonely. This is my first time playing golf in a while.”
I smiled, “I am sorry to hear. How bout we have a nice time spending some life together Kenny.”
Kenny did not play particularly well. Expected in many ways. I did not play particularly well either. But, realizing quite quickly, I was not there to play good golf, I was there to be a good friend for a few hours.
Kenny & I shared family stories. We shared a number of smiles and high fives. At the end of the round, we shook hands. Kenny had a smile on his face, as did I. His loneliness after losing his wife was not gone by any means, but for a few hours I like to think God plugged a fella like me to be a friend so that one of his could find a little healing. A little friendship.
Gary Player is right, golf (as many sports) is not about the scorecards but the opportunity for relationships.