Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Pump

Last Thursday morning I was is a place named Franz Joseph Glacier on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand. As I was packing to leave I turned on my TV and was delighted to see Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer playing the last hole of the par 3 tournement at the Masters. As they walked up the fairway it was obvious that the years had taken their toll on them all. Yet all 3 had managed to play respectable shots. I found myself tearing up as I watched them together for perhaps the last time. As a young teenager my passion was for golf. I used to putt imitating Palmer's unique knock kneed stance. I might even have be seen flicking a cigarette with the same pinanche that Palmer had. I wasn't sure why I became emotional at this site. I have found that as I age I'm becomming more emotional about such things.

As Palmer got set to putt on what had to be at least a 65 footer he was surrounded by the same kind of crowd as he was in the 60's and 70's. He stroked the ball with authority and the crowd hushed as it started to appear that we were about to witness yet another truly magical moment. I have no idea what etherial GPS was guiding that sphere but somehow that putt found the bottom of the hole! I'm sure I alarmed a few of my neighbors with the sounds that came out of me at that moment. It was so wonderful to see Arnie when he began to realize that it just might go in. And before the sound of that sphere hitting the bottom of the cup could be heard there was Arnie pumping that right fist one more time.

My whole being swells when I experience myself in the presence of excellence of any sort. The tears were streaming down my face when I saw that pump (as they are as I write this now). Thank you Arnie for that moment. At my age I don't know if I have any fist pumps left in my tank but it sure is great to see that it's possible.