by Ali Bode
He proudly walks to the tee with a gait that only hints of the battle he has fought these last two years.
Though his physical stature is now somewhat smaller from the effects of his treatments, the largeness of his presence is easy to feel as I stand in his shadow.
Gently, he places his tee into the ground, nodding a silent acknowledgement to me that he is back.
Without worry as to the result he watches his ball fly from the clubface and feels his unleashed passion for the game soar into the air.
He looks back at me in obvious pleasure. The game begins.We walk the fairways together, speaking of our love for the game, not with words we say, but through the unspoken competition that goes on between us.
We laugh as one another makes an unexpected putt, and forget to write down the scores.
He shows some fatigue as the holes begin to pass, but his determination to finish is evident.
I had feared this day might never come and now I wished it would never end.The round over, we sit for a few minutes and he tells me he thinks I won this time.
I smile as I look back into his eyes. For me, it hadn’t been about the strokes.
It was all about playing the game.
Dedicated to my grandfather, Jim Keogh.