I have been golfing for over 15 years. I played on so many golf courses; some are fancy courses with breathtaking sceneries, surrounded by massive trees, a lake, river, and some in the middle of a farm surrounded by cornfields. Some is so mountainous an Afghani golfer designed it. The most interesting golf course I played on is Glen Lake Golf Course, a par three course stretched in two different cities, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie, separated by a highway and goese under a tunnel. When I started playing there, they served alcohol on the Minnetonka size of the course but don’t serve alcohol on the Eden Prairie section, which I called the Muslim halal tees!
The average size of an 18-hole golf course is about 70 football fields, lots of bunkers, miles of cart bath, and greens that require lots of maintenance from the hardworking crew that make sure the course is ready for you early in the morning. Golfers talk a lot about the golf course, the fairway, the green grass, the bunkers, the waters, the trees, the driving range, and the clubhouse, but not enough about the most critical crew on the golf course; the Starter, your friend on the first tee. The one who gives you the first impression and sets your mood for the day. He is your caddy, the one to comfort you when anxiety and uncertainties sink in. They say golf is one way to ruin a good walk but a bad starter could ruin your golf day. So make sure they are on your side. The Starter, usually a middle-aged white man, recently retires, easing himself into the alternative lifestyle. I have met so many starters, with different types, and personalities. First, you have the chatty one telling you everything about his executive job and retirement plans. Then the timekeeper, with a gigantic clock in front of him, enjoys asking golfers to hurry up or tell eager ones to. “wait 2 minutes, your time is at 7:33”. a starter turned me away for being one minute late. (another story)
Then you have the meticulous guy, who tells you about the course terrain, exactly how far is the green, and how hard the green is, “the flag in the back today,” he informed you. Then the weatherman, tells you about the wind direction, when it will rain, and how hot it will be. The joker doesn’t get tired of telling the same golf joke every time. “Do you know what GOLF stands for …., Gentleman Only, Lady Forbidden,! Ha Ha Ha! Then the introvert; stays on his cart, avoiding conversations and let move along. The traveling guy; has been over the world. “Where are you from? He would ask every time.
_Ah, Egypt…!! I have been in Egypt many times, saw the Pyramids, … who is this guy who had peace with Israel was!
Then we have the name-caller,
_ how do you say your name? is it Achmad or Ahmeed or
…? I just wanted to say it right.! Then you have the hyper one, always moving, never settles down, picking up broken tees off the tee box, filling pivots, and sorting the trash pin for wrongly thrown recycling items. The easy-going Starter.; the pleasant one, over sharing, friendly you know all about his life in a few minutes, tells you, “have a nice day, Ahmed, after mis-hitting the first ball! The playboy; busy conversing with women golfers. “Hey ladies, this gentleman will be playing with you today .” The psychologist gives you a mind golfing tip, “Look; you need to own the ball, own it Ahmed”…
_ what if the ball owns me!! I wonder..! the disgruntled Starter, a former C.E.O, recently laid off or suffered early retirement. He thinks he is still at his corner office at 3M or Target, dressed up, holding an iPad, constantly barking orders making sure everyone is in line and ready. The Starter brags about how much he plays golfs in the winter in Florida, “it is 80 degrees in December there”. Then the bookworm one, talks about reading a new book, and for him, it is always a “fascinating book”! Then you have the patriotic one, who wants to make sure that you are happy in America.
_ do you like it here Ahmed? It is a great country, isn’t it!!
– Please don’t get me started!!
So, when you go for your next round of golf, don’t forget about your friend on the first tee; he will set the mood for your golfing day!
Arab American TV
“A show with an accent for those without one! “