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Superintendent storytime: Goldenlinks and the Three Bears

By |  March 8, 2022 0 Comments

Editor’s note: Former contributor Jim Black shared this fairy tale with us. We hope you enjoy the change of pace.

 

Once upon a time, there was a magic golf course set deep, deep in the woods. With the mystical name of Goldenlinks, the golf course was well cared for by a skilled greenkeeper who wanted nothing more than to have happy golfers. He worked hard to ensure that the playing conditions were always the best they could be on any given day.

One day a gentleman called the pro shop to make a tee time. “I’ve heard about this wonderful course in the woods,” he said. “I would like to make a tee time for next Tuesday at nine, please.”

“Excellent,” said the pro shop person. “We look forward to your visit. What name shall I put the reservation under?”

“Bear’s the name,” he said. “The Bear threesome.”

The day finally arrived, full of bright sunshine and spectacular golfing weather, and the Bears made their way to Goldenlinks. But along the way, they encountered some traffic and were almost late for their appointed time.

The first to tee off was Papa Bear, who had suffered the driving duties and felt quite rushed. He caught his first tee shot thin, and the ball skittered its way into the rough just short of the fairway.

Next up was Son Bear, who, having indulged a bit too much the night before, wasn’t feeling his best. His head felt heavy and his body weak, which caused his shoulder to dip and his driver to slip under the ball, sending it much farther upward than outward, well short of its intended target.

Now it was Nephew Bear’s turn. Nephew Bear had a good night’s sleep and relaxed on the car ride to Goldenlinks, imagining good things about his game. He calmly tee’d up a shiny new ball and, with a mighty swing, caught it squarely on the clubface, sending it on a beautiful flight to the center of the first fairway.

Papa Bear grumbled, Son Bear mumbled, and Nephew Bear remained humble as they made their way around the famed Goldenlinks course that day.

As one might imagine, what transpired on the first tee is exactly how the rest of the day went for all of them. Papa Bear skittered around the course all day, hacking and whacking the little white pill into so many cuts and bruises you would think the ball would give up the game forever. Not once did he approach a green cleanly, and it showed on his scorecard.

Son Bear spent the day in an exercise that was more of an excavation than anything that resembled the old game. He gouged and plowed his way around the Goldenlinks course, approaching greens from such strange angles and stranger heights, and it showed on his scorecard.

Nephew Bear is another story altogether. Free of the clutter and anger that can occupy a golfers’ mind during a bad round, Nephew Bear danced and sang his way around the Goldenlinks course. The zone was his to have and to hold. Every strike of the ball pure and every wish of a shot was his command. He played the round of his life, and it said so on his scorecard.

After their golf experience on Goldenlinks, the Bear threesome made their way to the clubhouse. Once inside, Papa Bear headed to the lounge for a chilled adult beverage, while Son Bear went into the pro shop in search of aspirin. Nephew Bear headed out in search of the head greenkeeper.

Plopping himself at the bar, the bartender said, “Well! How was your round today?”

“Awful,” said Papa Bear. “These greens are WAY TOO HARD! Not once did my approach shot stay on the green. Your greenkeeper really should try softening them up with lots of water.”

Over in the pro shop, the person behind the counter said to Son Bear, “Well! How was your round today?”

“Terrible,” said Son Bear. “These greens are WAY TOO SOFT! Not once did my approach shot release and roll back to the hole. Your greenkeeper really should try aerating or ‘sanding them’ or something to dry these greens out.”

Out in the maintenance building, Nephew Bear found the greenkeeper. “Well!” said the Greenkeeper. “How was your round today?”

“Fantastic!” said Nephew Bear. “These greens are JUST RIGHT, holding approach shots and rolling true. I played the round of my life.”

With that, he thanked the greenkeeper, vigorously shook his hand, and said, “I’ve never been a greenkeeper, but whatever it is you are doing out there, I would urge you to continue!”

The greenkeeper smiled a knowing smile, happy that he had achieved his goal.

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