I can’t positively remember his name, although I am fairly certain that it was Fred or Frank. My certainty comes from the fact that after my one and only golf encounter with this guy, I attached an unflattering (although, I must admit, quite accurate) adjective to his name: Fat. So it was either Fat Fred or Fat Frank. Either one will do, I suppose, but, for some reason Fat Frank sound more right. So Fat Frank it is.
It had to be at least 10-15 years ago and our usual foursome was scheduled for a weekday morning at Chestnut Hills Golf Course. It was raining as I pulled into the parking lot, but, the weather experts were predicting clearing skies by mid-morning. Bill soon showed up and then Roger. With Roger was an extremely large man named Frank. Roger informed us that Tommy (our usual fourth) couldn’t make it so he had recruited a co-worker to join us. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against large people. I’m merely trying to set the stage for what is to follow.
Since it was still raining, we decided (on Frank’s suggestion) to grab a bite to eat at the dinner up the road. Myself, Bill and Roger ordered standard breakfast fare. Frank ordered two whole steak, egg, cheese, onion and pepper subs. I’ll never forget the image of the waitress delivering TWO gigantic subs to one person at 9:30 in the morning.
The rain, as predicted, stopped and we were on the course by 10:30. If you looked at Frank, you may have very well thought that this dude is definitely not a golfer, but, I’m sure we have all been around long enough to not judge someone’s golfing ability by their looks. Well, Frank was definitely not a bad golfer. No, he was so far beyond a bad golfer that it almost defies belief.
Frank was without a doubt the worse golfer I have ever seen on a course and to make matters worse he was annoyingly slow (even for a large, ponderous man), he completely lacked any sense of course etiquette and he seemed to lack even basic social skills. But, all this pales when compared to his worst trait. Frank had the worst case of rabbit-ears that I have ever been subjected to in my entire life.
During the round (amidst a never ending cavalcade of flubbed tee shots, shanked irons, skulled wedges and putts that defied human description), he complained about the birds flying overhead, the flag flapping too loudly on the green, the freight trains rumbling by the perimeter of the course, carts on the next fairway and basically anything that one person can lay claim to as a golfing distraction. However, all of this was a mere warm-up for what occurred on the 15ht hole. We had all teed off and were waiting for Frank to hit his tee shot. After another, dribbled 25 yarder, he turned to us and said, in all sincerity, ‘Do you guys have to breathe so effin’ loud?’. We finished the round in silence, settled up our bets and got in our cars and left. The only time Frank’s name was ever mentioned was when Roger said to us the next time we played golf, ‘Sorry ‘bout that’. No more was ever said about Frank and no more was needed to be said.
To this day, I cannot remember a single shot that I took that day or any shot that Bill or Roger took, but, Fat Frank will live on in my mind, I suppose, until the day I die.