At 3:30am this morning my good friend Bobby Drabner lost a 2.5 year battle to cancer. I’m paying a little tribute to my friend here.
I’ve known Bobby for many years. He’s about 20 years older than me, but we became good friends through golf. We’ve probably played 200 rounds of golf together. Golf can bring people of different ages, backgrounds, ethnicity etc. together.
For about the last 4 years or so Bobby has been a member of the locally famous “Thursday group” which is one foursome that plays every Thursday here, provided there’s no snow on the ground. The Thursday group is as tight a group of buddies as you’ll find. Bobby has a picture perfect golf swing and on Thursdays I always stand directly behind him and look at his perfect swing plane. You can see from the picture here he’s already made contact but his eyes are still down.
About 2.5 years ago Bobby was diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live. He made it past 6 months big time. Eventually we stopped calling him Bobby and started calling him “Miracle Man.” In the last year or so sometimes Bobby would miss a Thursday because he was too weak from the chemotherapy to play. Then the next week he’d be out on the course.
Each Thursday we’d get an update and he’d tell us the cancer was in his organs, then it would be in his bones, and finally it hit his brain.
Bobby was very healthy and took good care of himself during his life. He never ate any “bad” food. A great quote he said one day to me at the turn was “Fuck it. I’m eating a hot dog. That healthy food didn’t do shit for me.” That’s the way he was. He spoke his mind.
I played in many weekend tournaments and events with Bobby. The most notable was this last year’s club championship at Meadowbrook. Bobby and I played in the 27 hole club championship match. We weren’t playing against each other. I was an A flight finalist and he was a B flight finalist. We both rode together and gave each other moral support in the very stressful 27 hole matchplay event. I was very glad to have him there for me. It was my first championship match and I could hardly hold my breakfast down.
Though I was 2up after 18, I didn’t close the deal. But Bobby absolutely destroyed his opponent who was a good 25 years younger than him and knocked his drives 80 yards farther. He closed his opponent out with 6 holes to go. Keep in mind, this guy won a club championship 2 years after he should have died, and after at least a year of chemo. Simply amazing.
Tonight I’m going to crack open a bottle of wine and raise a glass in a toast to my good golfing friend. Here’s to you Bobby. I’ll truly miss you. You won’t be forgotten.