About Golf, the Frontier Woman and Life Affirmation

About Golf, the Frontier Woman and Life Affirmation

Aftie B. is one of those life-affirming survivors, a healer, an author and retired teacher (mine, my wife’s and thousands of others in the Snake River Valley, a mentor to women and men from mayors to grandmothers).

I was mystified by her avid devotion to the sport of golf (as a spectator), until I read today’s reflections by Tom Friedman in the New York Times. In “59 is the new 30” Friedman makes a non-trivial point about the game:

[link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/opinion/29friedman.html?_r=1 ]

“Watson’s run was freaky unusual — a 59-year-old man who had played his opening two rounds in this tournament with a 16-year-old Italian amateur — was able to best the greatest golfers in the world at least a decade after anyone would have dreamt it possible. Watching this happen actually widened our sense of what any of us is capable of.”


“That’s the point. Baseball, basketball and football are played on flat surfaces designed to give true bounces. Golf is played on an uneven terrain designed to surprise. Good and bad bounces are built into the essence of the game. And the reason golf is so much like life is that the game — like life — is all about how you react to those good and bad bounces. Do you blame your caddy? Do you cheat? Do you throw your clubs? Or do you accept it all with dignity and grace and move on, as Watson always has. Hence the saying: Play one round of golf with someone and you will learn everything you need to know about his character.”


“So Tom Watson got a brutal lesson in golf that he’ll never forget, but he gave us all an incredible lesson in possibilities — one we’ll never forget.”

Aftie B. is enjoying still the sunny side of 90, dividing her time and energies between the family homestead in legendary Swan Valley (where she is engrossed in writing its definitive history) and her urban apartment on the banks of the Snake River. Were she inclined, she could write a supplementary piece, “For the frontier woman, 87 is the new 47”.

It’s all about life affirmation and a fertile relationship with the Creator….


Leave a Reply