How many small towns in America have you driven through on summer vacations where a white clapboard church was a prominent part of the local scenery? In colonial days, and for more than a hundred years thereafter, a town’s local church was the center of activity and social life. Those churches typically were not grand, awesome structures, such as you might find in Europe, but instead were simple, small, and unassuming — three qualities that make them distinctive and attractive today.
This photo was taken last summer of the church in Omena, Michigan.
Golf can be a good bridge-builder between people who don’t know each other very well, but it also can reveal things about your playing companions that aren’t very positive. For example, some golfers like to bet on the game every time they play. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you do you’d better have been honest about your handicap and you’d better play by the rules. There’s nothing worse than a sandbagger with a phony handicap who mysteriously manages to shoot a “career round” every time a bet is on the line, or a cheater who drops a ball to avoid a lost ball penalty or kicks his ball into better position.
There are other bad things to watch out for, too. Is the guy you’ve been paired with a chatterbox, a braggart, or a bore? Is he a slow player, or an incessant waggler? Does he give unwanted advice about your swing? If he is playing poorly, does he give tiresome post mortems about the surprising crappiness of his game? Does he concede putts that reasonably should be conceded, or does he take “gimmes” that really aren’t “gimmes” at all? If betting is involved, how does he perform when the match is on the line? And if he does not prevail, is he a sore loser?
Golf can tell you a lot about a person whom you don’t know very well. It would be interesting to know what perceptions get formed as a result of today’s leisurely match.