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Fayette County


Bet they won’t repeat this on CBS during Master’s Week

Lee St. John, a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, is a #1 Amazon ranked humorous author. Look for her on Facebook, Twitter (@LeeStJohnauthor), and on her blog at www.leestjohnauthor.com.

Let me preface this account by letting you know that I always mean what I say, I just may not mean to say it out loud. It may be Master’s Week but this golf story is still a goodie.
I learned to play golf while in high school. In 1973 while an undergraduate at Georgia Southern University, my parents drove to see me and we took a weekend trip to Hilton Head, known for its golf courses and resort. Heading over to Harbor Town Golf Course, Dad and I signed up to play 18 holes. Because we were a twosome, the golf pro asked would we mind playing as a foursome with another gentleman and his son.
We teed off. I played terribly but this son was really good. So good, in fact, daddy gathered lots of information about him. He was a senior at the University of Texas and after graduation wanted to play on the pro tour. My father thought, “I am going to remember this young man’s name.” And his name was BEN CRENSHAW.
In 1973, ‘Gentle Ben’ was not the player we groupies later swooned over. Looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy, he still had that mane of great blonde hair but he reminded me of Humpty Dumpty. He was NOT the looker we would eventually see on TV. Nosiree.
When I started teaching and our schools had spring break, most of my friends, who like me, were 20-something, took off for the warm Florida beaches. I was able to convince some girlfriends to tag along with me and watch the cute golfers playing in March’s still-cool-sweater-weather on Hilton Head, South Carolina. For several years this was our Spring Break destination.
One year during the Hilton Head Golf Classic Tournament, I became separated from these girls. We were scattered and couldn’t touch base because in 1973 a phone call was not an option. Being disconnected had everything to do with the libations we consumed. And there were lots of them. Use your imagination.
Trying to find my fellow educators, I stumbled upon a familiar face. I was excited to see someone I recognized in the crowd of people and without thinking called out, “Hey, Ben!” It was Ben Crenshaw. He thankfully had finished for the day and was walking toward the clubhouse with his entourage.
He stopped. They stopped. I stopped. Uh,oh. And then I realized, “What had I just done?”
Because of this faux pas at this unexpected meeting, I tried to smooth it over. Stammering, I continued, “I played golf with you here a few years ago.”
With a hint of doubt Ben said, “Oh, yeah? Is that right?”
“Really! My dad and I played with you and your dad. It was just a few years ago. Right here in Hilton Head.”
“Are you sure it wasn’t Tom Kite? (Now, don’t ask me why the television announcers confused those two except that they both played for the University of Texas and turned pro at the same time.) I am sure I would have remembered,” he mentioned smugly.
With that comment I thought, he really doesn’t remember? I played lousy. I thought I messed up the rhythm in his own game with my awful playing (I didn’t) but I was a 21-year-old young woman and I was a little offended that he didn’t recall at least one of those two things. I wanted him to know I was not making this up. I did play with him and to prove it, I needed to mention something that would jog his memory.
I paused to make my next statement more powerful and then mentioned, “Oh, no. It was you because you were FAT then.”
There was mild laughter from the group that followed him and then he quietly and humbly said, “Yeah. I was.”
Maybe he will remember me now.