Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A good friend of mine asked me to join him in a round of golf at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester. Serious golfers recognize this club as one of the more prestigious courses — not just in New York State, but — the entire country. (It’s storied history will add, yet, another chapter next year when the PGA Championship is held there.)
Aware of the world-wide buzz that “From the Valley” generates, my friend asked that I not divulge his name if I wrote a story in the newspaper about it. He’s not interested in the celebrity status that goes along with the column; he’d be uncomfortable dealing with the notoriety, television interviews, etc. (The European paparazzi can be so smothering.)
And so, as a gesture of respect, I’ll honor his request and keep his identity a secret. Mum’s the word! That’s him in the picture at the top of the column. My friend, Mike, is the one on the left - I’m on the right.
He won the chance to play Oak Hill (for two people) in a raffle and I was honored he considered me to join him. (Another reason for his requested anonymity was so that no hurt feelings would arise from those he didn’t ask.)
I had Googled the place (Oak Hill) a week before and remember thinking “Good Lord, it looks like Buckingham Palace.” I was nervous because anything that has a ceremonious ring to it brings out the ‘I am not worthy’ vexation that has dogged – not only me, but — anyone growing up Catholic in the ‘50s and 60s.
Upon arrival, green-vested employees scurried over to take our clubs and find out “who the hell are these guys?” After locating our names on their official-looking clipboards, they carried our equipment to a cart and announced that our host had not shown up yet. (’Our host’ was a member assigned to play with us and show us around the course.)