Golfer: The Hands of Time
This poignant golfing story was inspired by a true incident related to me concerning a near and dear relative. This wonderful human being, who was my great uncle, had been a long standing golf professional, now retired and, unfortunately, suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Eric was regularly picked up by the local police, whilst he was lost and out walking, sometimes late at night. As those of us who have experienced the terrible scourge that Alzheimers is, would know, the compulsion to go ‘walk a’ bout’ is a very common circumstance. This delightful old chap would give the police putting lessons, while he was waiting back at the station for a family member to come and collect him. The issues of ageing in the twenty first century; and the game of golf’s universal appeal throughout the western world are presented interwoven within this tale.
Golf is such a great game for all ages, but it is particularly part and parcel of the retiree’s identity. The ability to test oneself against the course, to challenge oneself to still improve, despite age and infirmity, is the powerful appeal of golf for those of us making our way through life on the back nine. We swing our clubs and strike the ball, even if we cannot exactly see where that sweet white sphere is heading. We play in hope to break our ages; and to keep our heads held high in the club room of life. Golf is such a poignant metaphor for how we live our lives; our we going to lay up or go for the green?
I hope that you enjoy, this brief, but bittersweet story that I have crafted in ode to my lovely great uncle and his lifetime’s dedication to the game we all love to play. The inclusion of Old Tom Morris is my imaginative insertion as a creative writer and I reckon he wouldn’t mind being associated with the true story of my family member’s twist of fate on this mortal coil. The beginnings of this Scottish game are shrouded in the mists of time; and we all would love to make our imaginative way to St Andrews, the home of golf.
Robert Hamilton is a writer, historian, and a very keen golfer. He is at this time working on a collection of short stories, inspired by sport, but also entertaining what it really means to be alive; to be entitled She’ll Be Right Sport. Robert lives in desperate hope of breaking the magic 80.