The Wishing Tree
November 27, 2011
A Dark and Stormy Night
December 10, 2011
The Wishing Tree
November 27, 2011
A Dark and Stormy Night
December 10, 2011

A Strange Day at the Golf Course

I leaned over and pushed my tee into the ground. I needed to hurry as I was all by myself on the first tee. My favorite Jekyll Island course summoned me to the challenge. I stood on the tee looking down the lengthy straight 430-yard fairway. I couldn’t believe I was alone with no one around to distract or bother me. I addressed the ball and took a couple of waggles as I prepared to destroy this par four.

“Hey, they told me at the starter’s shack that I could play with you.”

Great, I thought. I just wanted one uninterrupted game.

I turned around to see this senior citizen dragging his cart toward me. He sported a whitish beard, walked on spindly white legs, and wore a Yankees baseball cap slightly off center. His old golf shoes squeaked and his socks didn’t match. “I’m Guffy, Guffy Smith,” he said as he extended his hand toward me. “You must be Bryan Kelly. I used to work in a think tank where my specialty was paranormal, mind transference, and such things.” He laughed with a grating obnoxious chortle like the happy wanderer on an old travel show of bygone days.

“So, you knew my name by reading my mind?” I asked.

“No, I heard the starter call your name.” Again the laugh.

I addressed the ball and drove it down the fairway, slightly to the right side. Guffy took a quick wild swing hitting the ball about two feet from mine. We grabbed our carts and walked swiftly down the fairway. The grass was still wet from the morning dew and the mist hung in the trees like Spanish moss.

He kept pace right next to me. I figured this old guy was a talker. I knew I wouldn’t get any peace and quiet for the next four hours.

“Life is a lot like golf, don’t you think?” Guffy started.

“How’s that?” I asked, knowing I would get an answer whether I wanted one or not.

“If you want to be successful, you have to stay in the fairway. That’s where life is fair,” he laughed again. “This course is fraught with danger on both sides—trees, shrubs, unforgiving terrain, water, and alligators.”

Fraught? Who says fraught?

And if you get caught in one of those sand bunkers, you’re just asking for a stroke,” laughing again as if he said something so funny he made himself laugh. “Course there ahead on the green is the goal—the cup. To arrive there in regulation is merely living up to par. Getting there one under par is fantastic. You have to try harder and it can be frustrating at times, but doing better than par is really living the abundant life. You certainly don’t want to let the bogeyman get you,” he about doubled over laughing.

That crazy laugh was becoming contagious. I couldn’t help laughing.

“Laughing begets laughing,” Guffy said.

He always hit his ball within a few feet of mine. Even when I shanked one into the other fairway, he did too.

“You have great potential,” he said.

“I don’t get to play much,” I responded.

“No, I mean you have great potential in life. I can see you think things out carefully and take the best options. With the Lord’s help, you can do anything your heart desires. I know you are a believer.”

“Reading my mind again?” I laughed.

“No need to read your mind. I know,” he said studying me with his steel-blue eyes.

Guffy’s next drive faded into the trees. I waited at the green, but he never came.