By Deems Tsutakawa For The North American Post
In the early ‘90s, my wife took up golf with her coworkers Peggy Hanada, Arlene Lew, and one other Nisei woman whose name escapes me. During that era, I was an avid tennis player and actually had no interest in playing golf. As Jean was learning the game of golf and honing her skills, she of course wanted to practice. Consequently, there were times when I took her to the driving range or the par three executive course as her escort. Then, a funny thing happened which took me by surprise. On occasion, I would hit a few range balls and then we played the short course at Jefferson Park where the legendary Fred Couples learned his craft. The very first time that I played nine holes of golf, I actually got four pars. About a month later, I shot a 27 on a par three course, which is even par and quite an accomplishment for a non-golfer. It was surprisingly fun and I became hooked on the sport.
Throughout the later nineties and into the new millennium, Jean and I have had the good fortune to play many courses across the country. We have golfed in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho and Oregon, as well as dozens of great courses in Washington.
One time, on Oahu at Makaha Valley Country Club, a large black, skinny, short-haired wild pig came out of the bushes with three little piglets and wandered around the 18th tee box. I had seen these types of pigs on TV before but never in the wild and up close. Many of the courses in Florida have alligators, large black vultures and flamingo-like birds that are taller than me. I have seen coyotes, deer and flocks of wild turkeys around Washington State. The other day while playing a round in Cle Elum, we ran into a herd of 35 wild full-grown elk. They were relaxing in the sunshine and grazing on the grass. Although they left some large poops on the fairways and the head of the herd gave us a menacing stink eye, it was an amazing sight to see. I am glad that my wife took up golf and that a funny thing happened to me.