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The wheels are off …

So a thinly struck 6 iron on the 16th hole last Saturday had my golf ball headed in a low trajectory toward a sand trap. Traps don’t normally cause me much angst. My errant shots are frequent visitors to enough bunkers that I get plenty of real-time practice to escape these hazards, not necessarily put it close to the flag, but at least get out.

Not that day.

Rather than roll down to a manageable lie in the flat portion of the trap, my Bridgestone B

This wasn't the poorly struck ball from last Saturday, but this TaylorMade had seen it's share of bunkers, too.

This wasn’t the poorly struck ball from last Saturday, but this TaylorMade had seen it’s share of bunkers, too.

330 settled in the bottom of an unraked footprint high up on the face of the steep bunker. The rules of golf make no allowance for a free drop. The only option was (after cursing aloud the idiot who chose not to rake the trap) to play it as it sat. But the ball had nestled 3-4″ down in the footprint. There was little hope to blast out, Houdini-like, in one shot.

My stance was awkward to say the least; one foot high upon the lip, the other one dug down into the sand. Sure enough, one mighty swing didn’t extricate me; the ball stayed in the swath of freshly moved grit caused by my sand iron. Shifting to an even more awkward stance, the second all-out lash was no better, but at least the ball now rolled down the slope to the bottom where it was a relatively easy pitch to get onto the putting surface. But the irritating result was a triple bogey when a one-over-par 4 would’ve been satisfactory.

By then, however, I knew something was wrong with my left knee. It didn’t feel right. It was immediately sore and stiff. I couldn’t bend it and limped my way back to the cart. My wheels had come off.

I sucked it up to finish off the round par-par (alas, the bunker fiasco left me at 81 when the 70s were in sight. So close but yet so far).

Saturday night was awful. The knee ballooned and the soreness increased. But what really rankled me was the prospect that my treasured Sunday morning walk would be abandoned. Sure enough, a restless sleep did nothing for the knee. It became progressively worse. There would be no picking up trash that morning.

And there have been no other walks since then. I’ve driven a bit (the orthopedist says it’s a bad sprain, no real damage) and seen the clutter that is out there awaiting to be picked up. I hope to recover enough to at least gimp around by Saturday.

Here’s to hoping that such optimism is warranted; the ability to hobble would be better than not walking at all. The path awaits.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

1 Comment on The wheels are off …

  1. John Cleghorn // June 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm // Reply

    Oh no! You’re one who can’t stay still so I know this is a major bummer.

    Sent from my iPhone

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