Memorial Day is a holiday observed on the last Monday in May honoring men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Wow! a whole day…maybe they should get two days…or maybe we should start off everyday thanking these men and women. And while we honor those who have died, maybe we should thank those that have served or are serving today…just saying.
This year’s holiday reminds me of three of my favorite golfers from Meadowbrook history. That’s right, three gentleman who should be in the Meadowbrook Hall of Fame (if we had one), Milt, Jack and George. What made me think about these guys on this holiday weekend is that they were all World War II vets. They are also course record holders for 9-holes. That’s right, they played 9-holes, in a 3-some, in 1 hour and 16 minutes! Although it is the best time ever, it is not the reason they should be in the Meadowbrook Hall of Fame (again, if we had one) and why they are three of my favorite golfers. You see, these three men played together when they were 92, 91, and 89 years old. Everyday they would be here early and go out and play 9-holes of golf. After they were finished, they would come into the Pro Shop and sit and talk about stuff…you know, life, business, and with a little asking from me, WWII. I am sure I am a better man just for listening to these three men speak. I loved every moment of my time around them and I truly miss them.
I hear what your thinking…hey Bill, how about a three amigos story? Okay, here’s a couple…
Everyday before his round Milt would do “The Drop Test”. That’s when you take several balls and drop them from shoulder height. The one that bounces the highest becomes the ball you play that day. Now one day I tried to explain to Milt that the speed of a dropped ball hitting the ground really didn’t compare to the speed that a driver impacted the ball, and this might not be the best test to determine which ball would go the farthest. He responded that he had been doing it this way for about 60 years and it had never failed him yet. I realized that 60 years of data (and experience) is too much for me to overcome. So when people are looking for more distance, I simply explain that maybe they should try “The Drop Test”.
Then there is the one day that Jack and George got out of their cart and walked down to the creek to look for a ball George had hit. The problem wass they forgot to set the brake on the cart and it started to roll down the hill. The cart rolled right between the two of them, missing them by about a foot, and right into the creek. I know this because I was coming down the hill and watched it happen! As the cart started to sink, I jumped into the creek and held the front end up to keep the cart from going all the way in and yelled for one of our nearby grounds crew to come and help. We saved the cart and all the clubs. As I stood there, soaking wet thinking about the disaster that was just avoided (the cart missing these two men), George walked up to me and with a serious look on his face and said, “Hey Bill, while you were in the creek you didn’t see my Titleist 2, did you?”
They call their generation “The Greatest Generation”. If you ask me, I agree, because these three guys were truly great men. Thanks guys for all of the great memories and thank you for your service to this great country.
Although we honored our veterans and active duty military during Armed Forces Day on May 19, I would be amiss if I didn’t take another moment to thank every veteran and active duty military member for their service. Also, I want to thank my son-in-law, Kip, for his service. He is a pilot, has spent four tour of duties in Iraq and Afghanistan and won several Air Medals for his service. Oh and by the way, he’s a great husband to my daughter Missy and a great father to my grandkids, Morgan and Addie.
Well I know this is longer than most of my blogs, but thanks for reading. Remember, this Memorial Day, thank a vet or active duty service member…heck why not do it everyday!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Golf Pro,