Monday, March 27, 2006

The (only) problem with capitalism

Edgewood Golf & CC #1 hole plaque. Posted by Picasa

When I was 14 years old, I got into golf.

I delivered newspapers for the The Canton Repository. On my route was a school-buddy of mine that thought it'd be fun to "see what this game is all about."We convinced our parents that a golf membership would "keep us out of trouble".....they didn't hesitate to sign us up. :-)

Our families lived in a neighborhood close to Edgewood Golf and CC.

For the next 8 years, Edgewood Golf & CC would become my social lifeline. At the time I didn't know it, but for me, it was the location where irreplaceable memories were made.

Edgewood was a short tract by today's standards (barely over 6k yards from the tips). But in my world of balata, persimmon and steel, it was considered a challenge, only to be bested by the areas elite golfers.

I can't tell you how many balls I've beaten from sunrise to sunset on the old range that doubled as the on-course water-well. I can still see the frantic man in the green-painted steel ball gatherer, and picking-off that tin can as if I were a gunner in Asteroids.

School was an after-thought as I couldn't wait to get home, grab my bag, and run to the course. On the weekends, my buddy and I challenged ourselves to see how many holes we could play in one day. It was not uncommon for us to push for 45 holes on Saturdays. We were ALWAYS the last one's off the course. To this day, I can hear the sounds of the sprinklers coming on, and the exhileration of hitting shots right before the water could spray us. It has remained, that playing at dusk has always been my favorite time to golf.

My High School's home course was Edgewood, and by the time I had made the team in my Junior year, it had become my Cheers. A place where everbody knew your name.

But life moves on.

Last year I got a call from the former owner saying that he had sold out the course to developers, and that he was selling the last bits and pieces of the now-run-of-the-mill-golf course. I asked him if I could buy the #1 tee plaque. "For $20 its yours!" He happily exclaimed.

On one hand, I'm glad to own a piece of my history, on the other, it's sad that this part of my life is now only a memory. My last round has been played there, and I didn't even get to know that it was my last round.

My Dad still lives in the neighborhood. He says it's now a big church. The driving range is a big parking lot, and hole #1 is now inside the sanctuary.
(Now I know, that hole #1 isn't sacred ground from what deeds have been done there during my youth. But can a course actually be saved? I mean all the salty-sailor-talk that wafted through the air as easily as smoke from a cigar! My goodness me! How ironic).

I guess looking at the big picture a golf course is, to many, a church....or rather a solemn place to experience fellowship while contemplating life's bigger picture on the grandest of landscapes. So, I guess Edgewood being reincarnated into a place of worship is a fitting transition.

That my friends, is the (only) problem of capitalism: Yours, mine, and everyone else's history only lasts until a better offer comes along.

Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,



Anonymous said...

Fantastic article, JFB! A really nice story and so fun to read!
I'm glad you got that tee plaque. I happen to worship on Sundays at golf courses myself. I guess it's a fitting end for a golf course. I hope you find your new Cheers.

-Kristen (a.k.a. Golfchick)

MyDailySlice said...

Thanks Kristen! I appreciate it. I played a course in Savannah this weekend that would have easily qualified as a "Cheers"-type hangout: the clubhouse/locker-room was loaded with junior-golf notices,the grill served up cheap BLT sandwiches, and $21 to walk 18 holes!!!