HOWARD WARD: Life-Altering: Boyd Meets The Gangsome
Stephen Boyd got a taste of my life Thursday. Welcome to golf purgatory, Mr. Boyd.
Boyd hasn't had much time for golf over the past few months. He was charged with directing the U.S. Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Resort last summer and did such a great job that the USGA labeled it one of its best-ever shows.
But things change quickly in this time of economic turmoil' and Boyd now has some time on his hands. And when you have some free time, what better way to spend it than on a golf course?
Well, Stephen may be having some second thoughts about that after his experience Thursday when he was initiated by the Gates Four Gangsome.
To begin with, it was one of those days when an odd number of players forced the Gangsome to play threesomes. At least that was the reason given for the pairings.
My personal opinion is that it's hard to find four guys in that group who can get through 18 holes without hurling some insults at each other.
You know, stuff like, "We'd ask you to play with us but we already have a threesome."
Just kidding, of course. If there's one thing that the Gangsome does well, it's camaraderie. After all, that's about all most of us have left.
I'm not sure how much Stephen enjoyed the golf. Ordinarily a pretty good stick, the rust on his game was evident and he struggled until the 17th hole where he made birdie on one of the course's toughest holes.
He was pretty happy about the birdie and his contribution to the team until the third member of our little group, Adam James, painfully pointed out that we still lost that side, so his birdie didn't really man anything. Hey, we're all into camaraderie, but we still like to throw a few barbs.
Stephen rebounded well, though, and I can tell you that the job he did on those chicken wings in the 19th hole was quite professional. No meat left on those bones.
I've known Boyd for almost 15 years, having met him during his early years working in public relations for Pinehurst.
I always thought he was class act, and he went out of his way to make me feel at home. I can't tell you the number of times that he helped me with a story assignment. In fact, he even assisted me in landing a couple of magazine gigs that helped pay a few cart fees.
So, on a personal note, I'm sorry that Stephen won't be greeting me at the resort anymore. But maybe he'll find time to get out to the golf course more often. There's a bright side to everything, you know.
Speaking of bright sides, Stephen was able to make it the Golf Writers of America's annual shindig at Myrtle Beach a few years ago and recorded an amazing feat.
The 13th hole at the Dunes Club is one of those classic jobs that no one ever forgets. It's a par-5, 90-degreee dogleg that is bordered by water along the right side.
The tee shot doesn't have to be overly long, but it does need to be as close to the water as possible to allow for a second shot over the lake.
The third shot is to an elevated green with huge bunkers on both sides and in the back. There is an elephant of gigantic proportions buried in the center of the green, forcing some diabolical putts that have been known to bring tears to the eyes of a frustrated golf writer trying to save double bogey.
Well, Mr. Boyd solved that putting problem by holing this third shot for an eagle. Think he was happy? Well, it's been six years, and the first thing he says to me every time I meet him is, "Hey, remember that eagle I had at The Dunes Club?"
Yeah, Stephen, I remember.
And now Stephen has something else to remember. He actually shook hands and shared wings with the one and only C-Dog, W.C., Ol' Harv, Georgie Boy, Gentleman Rudy, Jack Mac, Don Ho, Hec and Craze II.
Unfortunately, Craze I wasn't playing Thursday, but that just means that Stephen has something to look forward to.
More like this story