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Yesterday (a Monday) I had a couple of hours to spend with my little guy, a 2.5 year old full of energy who loves putting with his plastic Little Tikes putter.  I usually go to my more upscale course, but this time I decided we would visit the “neighborhood” course.   This course is a lower end executive type course, a par-68 with short holes, a super modest pro shop, and a crowd more unique and authentic than I could have imagined.

The vibe of this place is super casual.  No collared shirts required.  Cargo shorts okay.  In fact, I don’t think they’d care if you didn’t even wear a shirt as long as you were there.

Junior Golf Lessons

My boy and I were putting for a while.  A group of kids started converging for what obviously was a group junior golf lesson.   As it turned out I actually knew, and had had some previous lessons from one of the instructors.  It was great to watch these kids on the range and on the putting green learning the golf swing and the game.

Junior Golf

The very working class parents sat in chairs under the shade of a big tree watching their kids hit balls.  There was a UPS guy, moms and dads of all types…  All this while a guy on a golf cart was playing guitar, harmonica, and singing.  More on the live entertainment later (really, keep reading).   What a cool scene.

Guitarist in cart on left while mom walks son to junior golf lessons…

Triage

My boy and I started to get quite hot and I remembered I left some bottled water in the car.  So we went back to the car for a drink.  While we were standing by the car I noticed a man carrying a woman in his arms from the driving range, while escorted by two other people.  The man set the lady down in the shade and they were very concerned about her.  I thought maybe it was a heart attack or heat stroke until I saw them icing and attending to the left side of her jaw.  She’d obviously been hit by a club.  What a bummer and that’s certainly a big point about golf injuries.  Most golf injuries are not from players being hit by golf balls.  Rather, the majority of golf injuries are the result of someone getting hit by a club during someone’s practice swing.

Takes Strokes Off!

Takes Strokes Off Golf Lessons!

Breathless Live Entertainment

My boy and I went back to the practice green and hit a bunch more putts, then he took his plastic putter to the range stalls and started taking his first full swings.  He had been watching those kids and was mimicking them.  It was cool to see and he was knocking real golf balls a good 20 yards with a plastic putter.  While he was hitting I thought I’d say hello to the guitar player.

As a former professional musician who made a living for 25 years playing music, I’m always interested and want to say hello to other musicians.  I thought it was pretty cool a guitar player would bring his guitar and perform for the people at the course.  How cool to sit on a golf cart and play guitar!  He was very quiet and I could hardly make out what he was playing or singing from more than 5-10 feet away though.

Me: “Can you play Flight of the Bumble Bee?”

When I got close enough to talk to the guitarist and ask his permission to take a photo, I realized he was on oxygen.  That explained the quiet vocals.

I grabbed my boy and brought him over to listen to the music when I realized something odd.  He was capoed up about 5-6 frets, using no pick, and not really doing anything with his left hand other than muting some of the strings randomly.  It only took me a few seconds to realize that this guitarist was not playing any chords at all and was making up lyrics which he talk-sang as he chicken-plucked.

Bless this guy.  He didn’t know how to play guitar or sing, but it was still cool.  Nobody noticed because he was so quiet.

Conclusion

It will not soon forget my odd Monday evening at the “neighborhood” course.  It was authentic, tragic, entertaining, heartwarming, and breathtaking all at the same time.

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