hit more fairways. make more putts. avoid the hazards. play by the rules.
Do You Believe in Coincidence?

Posted on Friday 22 May 2009

Over the winter a friend and I were batting around ideas for the cover story of our club’s annual golf magazine. Since the club is hosting the diamond jubilee of the Frank Emmet Schoolboy this summer we decided that Mr. Emmet, now gone for more than 25 years, would be an ideal subject, especially given the club’s long history with junior golf and with Mr. Emmet and the Junior Golfers of Washington in particular. I volunteered to start the research and to write the piece if we couldn’t find a more talented author.
winners
Mr. Emmet was a fascinating character, revered among those who oversee junior golf programs. He lived a modest life in the suburbs, worked hard as a salesman for a paper and printing company, and worked even harder at volunteer wages to make sure that ‘his boys’ learned the lessons golf teaches, primarily those of honor, responsibility and sportsmanship. He was a stickler for the rules of golf and for appropriate behavior. He’s frequently and appropriately referred to, even today, as ‘the father of junior golf’ in America. Tens of thousands of boys played in his tournaments in the 55 years he operated the Junior Golfers of Washington and millions of boys and girls have participated in programs around the country modeled on what Mr. Emmet built here.

When Mr. Emmet retired from the JGW the board created a scholarship fund for participants. Each year the fund holds a fundraising tournament at a local course and most of the clubs, especially the old line ones, send a team to compete.

I’ve been fortunate to play in these outings before but never came close to even a net prize. Until this year, when my friend who’d proposed the story idea suggested that we play together and bring along the golf and green committee chairmen to fill out the foursome. It sounded like a great idea and I looked forward to it.

Then I hurt my shoulder, then reinjured it. Couldn’t even practice – much less play – for 2 months, and even then I could only putt. It gradually started to feel better (thanks, Rick) a couple of weeks ago and I was able to hit balls full speed. The last hurdle was deep, thick rough and I tried that out 10 days ago. No pain, no problem, let’s go.

But I still hadn’t had a chance to play a single hole since before the hurting myself again in February. So yesterday rolled around, it’s the tournament named for the guy I’d researched and written about, and it’s my first round of the year. My expectations were low and I figured that my main contribution would be to be sociable and supportive of my teammates. Now, I can’t say I made the most birdies or hit all the straight drives, but I made a putt here and there and made some timely pars. And we won the event. Not a major, just a fun little competition with good pals and among friendly clubs for a good cause. But a few of us did wonder if there was some cosmic tie between our performance and the article or our hosting Mr. Emmet’s tournament this summer.


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