PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — There are no judgments, my brothers and sisters, on the journey. That is, there is only what is, and what is, is.
Our scorecard we forgot to remember, which is to say it and we achieved pure being and nothingness as we walked through Port Townsend Golf Club in tranquil acceptance of the road and the obstacles we encountered upon it. If we each quit golf, permanently and irrevocably, at least twice during what we will not call a “round,” because it implies a beginning and an end rather than a grand continuum of life and golf, let it be noted we recovered our perfect peace before we departed Port Townsend Golf Club, finally and forever.
I said, in my untroubled mind, “love yourself” … as my purely struck second shot curled handsomely into the shit short left of the green. I said, serenely, “Zen golf.”
Steve was playing “Then” golf. Then he popped it straight right into the neighboring fairway; Then he he hit a foot behind the ball and dribbled it four feet forward; Then he whiffed, in perfect completeness.
If you never played other golf courses, I mean ever before and ever after, you would not know that water and judicious application of grass seed would make teeboxes receptive to tees when one tries to stick them in the ground. We do not judge, but a little moisture might have a beneficial effect on the flint-hard fairways, too. If PT Golf Club was your whole life in golf, you would not know that the foam cushions weren’t meant to obtrude from the torn upholstery on the golf cart seats. The general decay around you would be how it is and how it should be, in your mind and heart, in the greater golf universe.
Death is a part of life, my sisters and brothers, kind of an equal partner, at least; we should not be saddened when a golf course nears death because something, or nothing, which is something, will replace it on these grounds when it’s gone. The problem at Port Townsend Golf Club, if there can be such a thing in life, really, as a problem, is there are not enough players in the green years of their earthly lives to replace those who are nearing or have already made the transition to the next wedge in the cosmic pie of life.
The crass reality of life as we encountered it at Port Townsend Golf Club is there’s not enough cash to take care of it in the traditional ways of the industry. Ironic note: Chief Chetzemoka, according to history a friend to endangered white settlers in the 1850s, looks in the photo like he’s joining me in waving goodbye to golf in the region. But his statue oversees the practice range, and when we Roadies were there, the only bodies swinging at range balls were a trio of 20-somethings.
Hope, Faith, Love, Zen, Then… and the greatest of these is Then.