IN THE EARLY MORNING, some days, the dew glistens in the brilliant sunshine and makes a golf ball disappear in plain sight, like it was just another point of light among millions. Today was cloudy, more burnished silver than yellow-gold shiny, and golf balls were easier to find in the odd places they ended up.
It’s the Dawn Patrol, at Tumwater National Golf and Polo, the course closest to Grey Goatee World Headquarters. So far it’s been a solo maneuver in the handful of days I’ve made it out of bed to tee off roundabout 6 a.m. The guy who proposed the Patrol hasn’t yet seen fit to join me.
I expect he will, eventually – it was his goddamn idea. When he does, it will be different.
I’d never thought to wonder what song a woodpecker sings, whether its voice blends with the cheeps and chortles and tweeps of Bird World on an early-morning golf course in the heart of springtime. The only sound I had heretofore associated with Woodrow and his ‘pecker brethren is the knockity-knockity of oversized beak on tree trunk, loud out of all proportion to such a little bird.
Today, it was on No. 11 that I heard the woodpecker doing his drumming thing, over there on the right beyond the cart path near the shortcut through the trees past the back of the 12th green toward the tee on 13. I wondered: So, Woodrow, is that all you got? Do you have a mating call for when you’re, like, mating?
I imagined your love interest hearing your best work on that tree trunk and sizing you up: “Hmm, good deep wood tones, smooth rhythm … seems like a solid guy, like he’d really know how to bring home the bugs.”
That’s what I was thinking this morning, walking by myself down 11, before I found my golf ball, in plain sight, in the fairway.
Sometimes, when I’m walking to my ball, I write sentences in my head, and sometimes they end up in odd places, too.