Opinion

And who’s your dream fantasy golf foursome? | Latte Guy | Sept. 16

My friend Clif was kind enough to invite a group of us to his place at Suncadia a couple of weekends ago for a little golf, a little poker, some fine dining, and a lot of what to the untrained eye might have looked like sitting around engaged in idle chatter, which, in reality, was a series of high-level intellectual exercises.

For example, one afternoon our task was to name our fantasy golf foursome.

Not surprisingly, some of the guys said they’d like to play a round with some of golf’s legends – Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer.

Others opted for a foursome including people with a slightly less elevated connection to the game of golf such as Bill Murray, Robin Williams and Clint Eastwood. Some saw the fantasy foursome concept as a potential learning opportunity, and picked Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Alan Mullaly.

At least one person who shall remain nameless (Rick Torseth) went an entirely different direction and picked Sean Connery, Penelope Cruz and the Dali Lama.

Hard to argue that wouldn’t be an interesting round of golf.

Barack Obama got at least one vote, which may be one more than he gets in the 2012 election.

Later in the evening, after dinner but before the traditional 2-club Whiskey Nine Round, we expanded the rules of Fantasy Golf to include not just actual living human beings, but historical figures.

Did I mention that there was wine associated with dinner?

Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and brother Robert, Bing Crosby, Jackie Gleason and Winston Churchill all got votes under these expanded rules, which is interesting in Churchill’s case since The Great One alternately described golf as either an expensive game of marbles or akin to chasing a quinine pill through a pasture.

Musicians were a popular choice as well, with Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett and Ray Charles all garnering votes.

To our credit, we unanimously agreed that if we were playing with Ray Charles and he had to make a short putt to win the match, none of us would intentionally tell him we thought his putt would break left when we thought it was actually going to break right.

At some point the game drifted off its admittedly fragile moorings, and we began to identify categories of possible Fantasy Foursome.

For example, who would you pick if you had to select your foursome from among the starting line up of the 1965 San Francisco Giants? (That one was actually pretty easy – Willie Mays, Juan Marichal and Willie McCovey).

Or the 1991 Pittsburg Pirates? (The only question there is whether you’d take Dock Ellis as a wild-card selection to go with Roberto Clemente and Manny Sanguillen.)

I was partial to a 1969 Summer of Love fantasy foursome of Ken Kesey, Jerry Garcia, and either Grace Slick or Richie Havens.

In the end, I realized that given the chance, I’d like to play a round of golf with my son Adam (who is living, but far from home), my dad Gene (who is not living, but even so, still has a better swing than I do), and my friend Clif (so we’d have a place to stay and someone to keep score).

Mercifully we lost interest in the fantasy foursome exercise before it got completely out of hand, and we turned to more profitable activities, such as playing poker and betting whether the next commercial on Sports Center was going to be about cars or chicken wings or both.

It’s great to have friends like Clif who are so generous about sharing with friends. In fact, I’m so appreciative of his hospitality that I don’t really have the heart to tell him that I left the half-full potato salad container under the bed in one of the upstairs bedrooms. And lest you think that I make it a habit of eating potato salad in bed, the container was already under the bed when I got there.

See you on the first tee, boys, and don’t forget to bring you wallets.

Tom Tyner is an attorney for the Trust for Public Land. He is author of “Skeletons From Our Closet,” a collection of writings on the island’s latte scene.

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