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Monday, May 3, 2010

Today, I shook the hand of the next Tiger Woods

In the golf course pro shop today, the clerk nodded towards the 9th hole and asked, "Have you ever seen that kid before?"

I turned my head to see who he meant--a ragamuffin Latino child, wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt and basketball shorts, with hair down to his waist flying out of his baseball cap. (He was a sight. I wish I had been in a position to take his photo for you.)

"Nope, I haven't."

The man replied, "That kid doesn't have a bad swing. He's here everyday, practicing putting and chipping. He plays 18 holes once a week here with his dad and uncle."

My knee might be taller than this kid. Seriously.

I watch as the dad and uncle drive away from the 9th cup. Nico, the golfing wunderkind, tears after the cart. He catches it and passes it up, his long hair flying behind him and runs up the stairs to the pro shop.

Says the pro shop clerk, "Nico! My man! What're you shooting today?"

"I got an eagle and two birdies," replies Nico.

Nico's dad tallies up Nico's score for the front nine. The four year old shot a 44. I watch him tee off at the tenth hole, with his wee little driver. The kid shoots from the men's tees. The drive went at least 50 yards, I think.

I need golf lessons from Nico. But for today, he just made me happy.

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