This past fall, I heard that a friend who was an avid golfer passed away. I was sad to hear the news, as he was a great guy and always fun to play a round with. He had a love of the game but respect for the fickleness of how well each of us played each day. His swing wasn’t pretty due to knee surgeries but he got the ball to the hole in fewer strokes than me more often than I care to count. I felt comforted knowing that he was headed to the big country club in the sky.
I began to think of what golf in heaven would be like. Common conceptions of heaven is everything is perfect and there is no pain or strife. Most people would think that golf in paradise is every tee shot would be a hole in one. For those who play the game with any level of proficiency or passion, golf is the pursuit of personal excellence not necessarily scorecard perfection. This could mean that a great day is to break 100 for the first time or to sink that one thirty-foot putt or beating your best score or finally mastering a sand shot. I imagined golf in the great beyond more in terms of the Norse Valhalla: a gathering of hackers and aces in an endless enjoyment of the game through daily play.
Perfect Start to a Heavenly Round
Each morning, the players leave the great clubhouse whose roof is thatched with wooden shafted of countless clubs. The walls of the hall are decorated with the crest of the many country clubs from around the world. The massive hall is wrapped by a porch that has great oaken rocking chairs to view the course after the day’s play is over.
As the eternal sun melts the dew from the deep green grass of the course, foursomes gather to play 36 holes in epic battles of skins, stroke or match play. Before the match, the starter, Njord, rolls his dice to determine the weather conditions for the day. The black die predicts wind and its strength while his white die predicts sun or rain.
The course itself changes each day to include every hole from every course ever built in a multitude of combinations. Each player carries their own bag that contains any club they ever owned. The bag weighs the same as a bag with three clubs. Each player plays by their wits to conquer the course. Play remains limited by the rules of gravity and physics and their skill level. Through valor in battle a player can raise their skill over their mortal accomplishments. The course is unforgiving but no ball is ever lost even in the shaggiest of rough. Sand traps a fluffy. Water traps are sparkling clearing to help golfers find errant balls. Trees move their branches to grab wayward balls that stray too close.
How to End the Perfect Round of Golf
After the play is complete, all players gather on the porch of the grand hall to settle up on the day’s game’s wagers and distribute the winnings. While sipping from glasses with never melting ice, they share their tales of that day’s made and missed shots. As dinner is consumed in the great hall, all frustration from the day’s missed shots is washed away. Players feel the joy of the anticipation of the next day’s round.
If that is what waits beyond, it is a truly awesome spectacle. Good luck out there, Jack. Hit ‘em straight.