Saturday, September 26, 2009

World Of

Every year my law school buddies go on a 4 day guys' golf trip lovingly called "World Of [insert number of years in roman numerals]". Every year I promise myself that I am going to take lessons and work on my game before the trip! Every year I arrive having maybe played once in the previous month and physically unprepared for the rigors of so much golf. We used to play 36 holes for 3 days and 18 holes on the get-away day, plus as much additional golf as we can get in before it is pitch black. As we hit the half century mark we have added gambling and Vandy football and cut back a little bit on the golf.

The core group of "World Of" golfers are Smooth, the Mouth, High Right, the Natural, Shifty, the Big Man, Turtle, Arnie, Crimson Tide and me (18). Most of these are not our real nicknames because we generally just refer to each other by our last names or nicknames that are not for public consumption (and the use of pseudonyms was part of the negotiations with Turtle to include "World Of" stories in the blog). In addition to the core group, there are other law school classmates that join us from time to time, notably the Big Dog and Cameo. We sometimes have friends of the core group that join us, but they usually do not come back for a second year (and probably never speak to the core group friend again!). You could not ask for a better group of guys to enjoy a golf trip. I am "Johnny come lately" to the core group. I have been a pretty consistent attendee since my divorce in 1995.

Smooth is our scratch golfer and the person that we generally rely upon to make the annual arrangements for our golf trip. He is a consummate gentleman and a beautiful golfer to watch from tee to green. He is always patient with me and finds something nice to say about my golf game.

The Mouth is, as you would expect, a litigator. He barely stops talking even when he is hitting the ball. He must be a tenacious litigator because he is a tenacious golfer. He is a former college basketball player and his knees are shot. No matter how he is playing he always gets around the course in the mid-80s or better.

High Right is smooth. He must be a great client generator. However, he and I have the same problem on the golf course. We are either pull hooking the ball off the tee or hitting the big slice off of the tee. But High Right is really good from the fairways and generally scores in the mid to high 80s. Although you would not know it by looking at him, High Right is usually the leader of the after-golf activities.

The Natural is probably the best athlete among the group. He played college baseball and helped coach the Vandy baseball team when he was in law school. I think the Natural plays a lot of golf, but it does not seem to help. He and I generally play about even, around 90. The Natural knows everyone and always has great stories to tell and has no problem making himself the butt of his own jokes.

Shifty is our worst golfer (but for the grace of Shifty goes me!). He is also the one that you want on your team for the best ball bets. He used to get 36 shots! Shifty lives in the Far East and we are always glad when he is able to make it to the "World Of".

The Big Man is just that! He is 6' 8" tall and weighs, let's just say, a lot (most of which is muscle!). He is the guy that you want covering your back in a hostile environment. The Big Man has a pretty draw swing and hits the ball a ton, and also a pretty good touch around the greens. He shoots in the low 80s.

Turtle is our leader, and he will tell you so. Whatever Turtle decides, we do, even if the Mouth yaps a bit. Until recently, the Turtle was playing with persimmon woods and 1970s iron. He recently upgraded his technology. Turtle shoots in the high 70s to low 80s, but if you ever need someone to make a putt (and Tiger is not available), he is your man! Turtle has taken me under his wing and works with me on my golf game, to little or no avail. I was saddened to see this year that Turtle was putting cross-handed and seemed to have developed a case of the pulls.

Arnie is another former college baseball player. He has a balky back, but when he is able to play he hits nice low draw shots and steps through with his back foot, charging like Arnold Palmer. He also plays in the high 70s to low 80s, but always seems to play well at the "World Of" (and no one would ever question the accuracy of his handicap, unlike some of the other World Of participants!).

Crimson Tide is the one member of our core group that is not a Vandy law school graduate. He attended the University of Bear Bryant. Crimson Tide is generally my roommate because we are the two worst snorers. However, I lost a bunch of weight and no longer snore (or so I am told) and Crimson Tide is wearing one of those sleep apnea contraptions and sleeps like a baby without making a sound. When Crimson Tide's back is not bothering him, he shoots in the high 70s to low 80s.

The Big Dog is 140 lbs. soaking wet, but he has as pretty of a golf swing as you would ever want to see. He draws the ball and hits it really long! The Big Dog probably plays golf two or three times a year, comes out to the World Of for a few days without practicing and shoots in the low to mid 70s and then disappears maybe to be seen the following year or the year after that.

Cameo rivals the Mouth. He mysteriously appears on the afternoon of the third day of the World Of with his loafers on, pulls his bag out of the trunk of his car, plays one round in the low to mid 70s, talking the entire time, packs his bag and is gone until he mysteriously appears at another World Of. Cameo is the best pure putter that I have ever seen.

More to come on this year's "World Of" golf weekend soon.

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