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I like to play golf. I like the challenges of trying to coerce a small round object into proceeding forward to a final destination. And, I appreciate that in a regular round of golf I have 18 of these opportunities to move the unforgiving object from a unique starting point to a final resting place that is situated on a specially designed smooth surface. Ah, the 18 final resting places. These destinations usually change every day. Occasionally I will find that a perverse groundskeeper, who must have had a bad night the night before, has taken great delight the next morning in locating the final destinations in places that require one to break the laws of physics.

The game of golf is replete with rules, most of which are written in THE RULE BOOK, and some of which are just common courtesy. For those who need to carry with them a copy of THE RULE BOOK so they can point out righteously the infractions made by their opponents, the pocket-sized version of the book consists of 98 pages written in tiny print.

In one rule, the player needs to choose a particular tool from a predefined set of tools to advance the round object towards the goal. One selects a tool based on the player’s skill level, the situation at hand, e.g., where the round object sits on the ground, and the strategy needed to navigate around the enormous tree that has been placed between your round object and the goal. Another rule states that one needs to stay in the proper playing area or be penalized. As an example, one may not try to advance the round object from the garden bed of a house that borders the playing area. And, common curtesy dictates it’s important not to laugh after an opponent makes a feeble attempt to move the round object forward.

The object of the game is to use your tools as few times as possible to complete successfully all 18 opportunities. On many golf courses, a professional golfer will accomplish that feat in around 70 uses of their tools. An average golfer will need to use their tools around 100 times.

One goal of some golfers is to use their tools in a round fewer times than their biological age. I know several golfers who have successfully accomplished that feat. They are better golfers than I am. I believe for me to achieve that goal I will need to live to 120.

Along the way while playing there are obstacles to overcome, some of which are nearly unconquerable. But I continue to enjoy the challenge by playing once or twice a week when it’s warm outside, mostly because I get to play with my wife, Sue, and a number of my friends in beautiful, peaceful locations. And, it is the relationships with these people whom I know and love that are most important to me.


Bob Linderman


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