It’s only proper that our first meeting begins with a simple toast (if you haven’t got a good nip of something nice n’ brown, please remedy that now — preferably with a glass of the Scottish, the Irish or, if it suits you, the Kentucky-ish.).
Go on. We’ll wait.
Now, a quick word about golf. No doubt many of us remember the first instance when physics pulled a ‘trois with luck and fate, and birthed the best round of your existence. Heavens, parting. Angels, hallelujah-ing. The ball following an invisible rope 260 yards into the fairway. The 34-foot birdie dropping into the hole.
It is why we play and play again. Heisenberg’s meth is only slightly more addictive.
Yet, for those of us not on the Tour, golf is a game in which, as P.G. Wodehouse once wrote: “desire outruns performance.”
Fortunately, there is respite at the end of a long journey of 18 holes. An oasis after hours of plodding through sandtraps; a clearing after countless expeditions into the treacherous trees on the edge of the fairway:
It is the 19th hole.
A place where libations bolster the victory or soothe the ego, where scores of various type are settled, and where every fellow at the table is an equal.
Like this only more awesome.
And since the argument can be made that golf is much like life (cursing, with the occasional moment of “I guess that didn’t suck so bad”)
it stands to reason that the 19th hole is anywhere where fellows gather and raise a glass.
We find our 19th hole at the tailgate. The concert arena. The birthday parties of our 4 year olds. Families reunions. The banality of reality TV. The glory of B-movies. In a shared bottle of something old. Record stores. And so on.
The 19th holes are legion, and it is here that we will pay homage.
In closing, let’s pause a moment in reverence for this tradition of the 19th hole, wherever they take place. Are you pausing? No, you’re reading. Pause.
YOU’RE STILL NOT PAUSING.
Now let’s take our leave, lest the ice cubes overtake our whisky while we prattle on, and our stories grow stale and tiresome. See you again soon and often.
Until the next round then — to your good health and vigor.
And to the 19th hole!
Be the ball,