Friday, October 24, 2008

The Beat Down

GOLF. A four letter word to some. Aggravating pastime for others. Still a game that a 70 year old Dad can play with his middle aged sons.
My brother and I first picked up the clubs in our late teens. We have been battling each other ever since. Good fun really. But family bragging rights are just that, rights.

My father watched his sons battle years ago before deciding to try his hand at this irritating pastime. When he first joined brother Dan and I on the course over 25 years ago, we didn't pay much attention to him or his score. You see the Titus brothers were there to settle their own war on the fairways of new Brunswick. This was an annual event that was always the highlight of Dan's visit from New Jersey.
Dad about to drain this shot for a par

Then one winter, dear ol' Dad secretly took golf lessons at the local club. When asked what aspect of the game he wanted to work on, his answer was quite direct to his instructor.
"I just want to beat my sons!"

Father Murman with a classic "I'm winning" smile.

Later the following summer, with the brothers again set to do mortal combat with drivers and putters, maybe a wedge or two, Father teed off the opening shot of the annual Titus Golf Classic. It was a straight shot, not particularly long, but it was the beginning of something that the bro's didn't even notice.

Dan reacts to a fairway wood second shot

This went on for the entire 18 holes. Pressure between Brother Dan and Brother Mur was intense. The trash talk never wained. It was a see/saw battle of Augustan proportions (well in our minds anyway).

It's in the hole! (for a 6)

Meanwhile, Father Titus, just kept his ball in play watching his sons beat the hell out of each other.

Brother Dan attempts a long par putt, but wilts under the pressure

As is the usual case the score between brothers was updated every couple of holes and added up as we were about to tee off on 18. Senior Titus score wasn't even thought of as the boy thought the old man was not a factor.

@#$%! Golf is a four letter word alright!

Then as the final putt makes that heavenly sound of golf ball in cup, we add all the scores. It looks like it will be a close one. There are checks and re checks. Then Dad takes the score card, both brothers trust their father to be the final arbiter of the match.
He adds Dan's score, then Murray's and announces himself as the winner, by not one, but by 9 strokes.

The brothers look bewildered. It seems they were too focused on each others game, dismissing dear old Dad as an also ran.

He's been kicking our asses on the course ever since.

He tells me it was the best 150 dollars (for the lessons) he has ever spent.
And on the occasion of his 70th birthday, we rekindled that old classic and wouldn't you know, the Old Man's still got game.

He crushed us both.

Danni, Dad and Me after we had been crushed after 18 holes at Hampton

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