We played eighteen and then decided to hook up with Doug and his daughter, Aleysha, for another nine. It was a very pleasant time, and made me appreciate golf as an avenue for making new friends, and for players of all abilities being able to enjoy playing together.
On the last hole we invited the elderly gentleman behind us to play the home hole with us, and he happily agreed. It turned out that this 86 year old gentleman, originally from the Midlands, named Jim, was a fellow I had heard about when playing with a couple of other Salt Creek members. I knew it was him as soon as I saw him grip the club and make a smooth swing, sending his tee shot straight down the middle of the fairway.
We chatted amiably and learned that Jim had joined the British navy in 1949. He had later emigrated to Canada where, it seems, he had become the man to beat at the Warkworth golf club, winning their club championship several times, and their senior championship eleven times in a row. You could definitely tell that he was a player by the way he gripped the club. It just looked like it belonged in his hands.
Jim told us that this round was his 114th of the season. He had walked every round, and figured he had walked 700 kilometres on the golf course this year. I figure it was probably closer to 700 miles. But, either way, it was pretty impressive for an 86 year old. We ended the day saying that we hoped we would get to play again sometime. And we certainly meant it. In this game you meet some terrific people.
Note to self: best not to play Jim for money.