Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96
(continued from page 9)
For some reason, I had had trouble all week achieving my typical distance with my clubs. It could have simply been fatigue from the late nights spent carousing on Hilton Head. The friendly pro had suggested I consider clubbing down since we were at sea level and I was accustomed to playing at a slightly higher altitude in the Chicago area. I took his advice, but I still think it was acute Mondavi/ Johnny Walker/ Fonseca/ assorted brews fatigue syndrome. Very common ailment on four-day golf outings.
There was a slight wind off the intercoastal waterway and I held up my Arturo Fuente 858 to get an exact wind read. This was a practice I had witnessed my Uncle Shorty Monroe do hundreds of times. He was one of the people responsible for my love of a great cigar. Based on my read from the smoke of the 858, I determined that I should go with a seven iron. The flag was playing 147 yards. Usually I would hit an eight iron, but I listened to the pro.
I teed the ball up and made a comment to my playing partners that I needed to put this close to get back into our little Nassau golf wager. I took one last puff on the 858, let the smoke slip out, set up the ball and tried to emulate a Freddie Couples swing. The ball came off the club head so sweet and true. I knew by watching its flight that this one would be close. The ball landed on the green, took a small bounce, skipped once and started rolling directly toward the flag. It seemed as if it was going to roll forever, and then it simply disappeared. A hole in one! I almost swallowed the 858. My playing partners were ecstatic.
As anyone knows who has ever hit a hole in one, it is quite a unique golf experience. I'm sure it is a little different for each of us. One of my first thoughts was, I wish all of my golf buddies that I've played with over the years could have witnessed this with me. Then I wondered, Wow, I could have a good round. Will I win anything for this? How much are drinks going to cost me? Are they going to put my name up in the clubhouse? Let's celebrate!
With this last thought, I went to my golf bag and pulled out four fresh La Gloria Cubanas, presented to me as a gift from our Hilton Head host, Jim Channell. I passed them out to my partners and we celebrated the moment, the achievement and the beautiful day the good Lord had provided us.
As we walked up to the green and looked into the cup, sure enough, there was my ball. I had to reiterate my friends' earlier comments. Could it get any better? A Monday, no work, beautiful weather, good company, golf, great cigars and an ACE! No, it sure couldn't! I wish every day was that wonderful.
Jim Bob Morris
P.S. For the last several years, I have made a practice of playing golf with a trusted cigar in my mouth during all of my shots. Not only for the great taste and experience, but for the fact that I do not move my head as much, especially on putts (when you haven't made a hole in one!). My head stays steady and over the ball and my alignment is much improved. I have not heard of any pros coming out in support of this theory, but it works for me. I went from an 18 handicap to a 10. I do know that I smoke a lot more cigars now. I think the correlation is actually: more golf equates to more cigars or vice versa and more cigars equate to a lower handicap or vice versa. Let the handicappers figure it out.
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