They say you find out who your friends really are when trouble comes into your life. Sometimes people you counted on are no help when you need them. Others you did not expect to help come to your aid. It’s one of the things that makes life interesting. It is true in the world and it is true in the Church. It is true at war and it is even true on the golf course.
I was slightly out of play once during a round with my two oldest boys and trying to find my ball in the margin of the rough. The guys were still in play. I found a ball that looked like it might have been mine, climbed out of the creek bed, and found my way back up through the woods and onto the course. The guys were out of sight. Finally I located them. They had gone on without me and were putting out on the green. These are two young men that eat at my table and live in my house and have my blood in their veins. See what I mean about the people you think you can count on when you are down on your luck? I said, “Hey guys, don’t you think it would be a good idea to wait for me, I mean, I do have the car keys and all.” They thought it over and decided to wait for me if I promised not to hold up play again hiking around looking for my ball.
A few years ago my oldest son worked at a nearby golf course. He came home with some interesting stories.
One day he told me a guy was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Seems the guy was golfing with friends and took a wild swipe at the ball on a long par five, twisted and broke his leg and then fell into a water hazard. (I felt sympathy for him because I should always lay-up on that whole but I can never bring myself to do it, so I clobber a ball with my Big Bertha driver and usually ending up losing a ball or scattering waterfowl with a “grounder”).
His courageous and selfless friends sprang into action. They dragged him to dry ground, rummaged in their bag, produced a cell phone and summoned an emergency vehicle to the scene. In a few minutes the ambulance came rumbling down the fairway to the back corner of the course, siren wailing.
Play halted and for three-quarters of an hour the course shut down until they were able to load this poor soul on a gurney and slide him into place. His friends inquired where he was being taken. The driver named the local emergency room.
I asked Kyle what his friends did then and he laughed and said; “Dad, all the time they were loading him up his friends stood around drinking. As they slid him in and closed the doors one of them said; ?I guess we’ll finish and then we will catch up with you at the hospital, Bob.'”
So off the poor guy goes to the hospital while his loyal comrades enjoy the rest of their round of golf. Of course I’m sure it was a real drag hauling around an extra set of clubs.
Stories of heroism and sacrifice are common in the annuals of history. Perhaps second only to apocryphal legends of golfers who let nothing interfere with their game.