In about three more years, I will reach the age that will qualify me as a senior . . . . golfer. That’s 55, folks, not 60 as in the common age where you get discounts everywhere. Senior golfers get discounts only on greens. As such, intermittent symptoms of memory loss are slowly making themselves apparent: I am beginning to forget things in the golf course. Not only that, things keep dropping from my pockets and end up with the same result – loss of things which I will only realize when I look for them on the following day.
Weeks ago, after sharing a practice on the Navy Golf greens and range with Bro Eric Gustilo, I was surprised to find my Tom Watson, Beryllium Copper Sand Wedge missing from my bag. I liked that club. I then called up my two longtime friends at the Navy Golf club – a tee girl named Cheche and a caddie named Leon. They found it at the practice green and my caddie kept it for me. I recovered it days later with supreme confidence that these chaps would keep it safe for me.
A second incident was two weeks ago at Canlubang golf course during our regular CIGA or BCBP Makati Golfers monthly tournament. My cell phone fell out off my pocket whilst I was having a beer with BCBP brothers Dindo Ibazeta and Ronnie Caballero. I realized I had lost it only on the following day. Later the next day, friends whose numbers were on the phone, received calls informing them that I had indeed lost/left my phone. It had been found by an honest maid who works for the caddy shack!
A third incident (yes there’s a third) happened at Valley Golf Country Club! It had rained hard right after the game and I had to hurry back to Makati to pick up Tess. On the following day, I noticed that my shoes were not in my locker bag, not in my car, not anywhere. I called up the locker room at Valley and just as I had guessed, my shoes were there kept safe by the honest attendants. I collected them the next day, to my relief, as i had just bought these shoes from Hong Kong.
The worst and most embarrassing incident (I know, most people stop at three examples) was the one at Ayala Greenfields in a tournament with brother Jay Cruz. Again, I left the course in a hurry to be in Makati by 7 pm. At a gas station stop in SLEX, I noticed that somehow, the car’s trunk looked unusually spacious. A shiver of fear shook me as I realized I had left my golf bag, complete with clubs, at the bag drop. Brother Jay Cruz who was still there luckily collected the bag. Some golfers might compare this incident of forgetting about your golf bag as similar to leaving home and not noticing that your wife is not with you in the car.
Dear brother and sister readers, before you get the impression that this is an article about my slowly increasing incidents of senior moments, let me write here that it is not. This piece is a fitting exemplary to our “Be Honest” campaign. This is about ordinary folks, and indeed some from the marginal walks of life who are honest by heart. I bet these folks have never even heard of BCBP much less the BCBP’s “Be Honest” campaign. The honest maid who works in the caddy shack at Canlubang, the honest caddie and the honest tee girl who had left school to earn at an early age at the Navy Golf, the honest desk attendant at Valley. I know no one would have bought the golf shoes even as second hand. But the sand wedge? It could have been sold for maybe a couple of thousand pesos, the mobile phone maybe for another couple of thousand. However, these were honestly kept in safe keeping by these honest folks.
How one would wish that all golfers would possess this natural honesty. How many caddies have been forced to change the score cards because their assigned player started screaming, ranting and complaining at them when the player (through his own lack of skill) was scoring a horrible round!
And this was indeed a true test especially for the maid from the caddy shack who found my mobile phone. I recovered it, yet some two weeks later. For some lesser folks, this time period could have just as well have served as an excuse to report the phone as totally missing. The message might even be stronger if you compare this to a remotely related passage in Matthew 25, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brethren of mine, you did for me.”
Honesty impacts our conscience when the when the best example of its followers, without fanfare, are the least of our brethren.
If you find that your caddy is too honest for your own good (due to your lack of skill), honor him by practicing for your next game. He is not only being honest himself but is sending you a message to be honest to your BCBP brothers as well as telling us to be honest to ourselves.
Being Honest, like golf, is a serious business. Not only is your BCBP brother watching you but GOD is also watching you.