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  • Writer's pictureAhsan Jamil

Formation of a Flight

The exhilarating breeze, lush green fairways and rising sun in the background form a blend of blessings in a morning already glowed with grace. As I approached the tee box, a flight (group of golf players) of three was preparing to take off. I stood there waiting for my turn. One of them innocently invited me to join them in order to complete the flight of four. I agreed in response to his goodwill gesture. Courtesy demands that I should inform the gentlemen that I am an average golfer. It seemed they were not interested in playing with a professional level golfer and I would suffice. With the sun in the background, our flight took off together. We remained on the ground but the sun was ascending slowly as if it was trying to get away from the virus stricken planet. 

We developed comfortable coordination within no time. They were a nice bunch, full of laughter, open to differences and very well mannered. In response I matched their decency by impersonating a cultured golfer. The level of decency is always high in the initial flights. Gradually people uncover each other’s true colors. In most cases golf quickly nourishes workable relationships and tolerant acquaintances. While discussion during the round breeds new friendship. Golf brings people together and forms clubs within a club. The beauty of the game is that all handicappers (golfer’s numerical potential) can play against each other. This is the reason veterans and beginners play together. 

I was paired with a gentleman who liked to keep to himself. He rarely showed anxiety or excitement. He carried wits in his pocket and always kept the most relevant jokes handy. He spoke briefly in a mellow tone and was well-versed. I am also usually focused on my struggle with the swing. Given the size of my belly, body movement is an enormous effort for me at each shot. In many cases, my ballooned tummy completely disregards my attempt to make a move for a swing. It knows all this early morning exercise is intended to cut back its size. I can’t blame it because no one likes a demotion. So my golf, in true sense, is a match between myself and my enhanced stomach. 

Coming back to the game, my partner and I, both trailed along without paying much attention to the scorecard. I actually did not know the golfers in my flight well enough to judge what brought them to the golf course so early in the morning. All of them were in regular shape physically, so surely it was not their bellies that made them play, they were here for reasons undiscovered so far. It was not decent for me to be inquisitive about golfers on the course. I should’ve played my golf keeping the writer inside me in check. After all I was just a fill in the blank in the flight. The other two fellows paired together had a great combination of their own. One of them was the best golfer among us; the blind rules the sightless. The other was the youngest, he had youth and experience on his side and we on the other hand were loaded with disadvantages. I, being the deformed and oldest, got tired by the 7th hole. My partner being indifferent to the scorecard was playing at his leisure. I liked his calm and composed attitude towards golf and the golfers. It doesn’t matter who won or lost, it turned out to be a great game. The only uncomfortable aspect in that flight was the pandemic protocol. The fear of coronavirus kept us at bay. We were together but we were not. Group play is dangerous these days. 

The sun and that flight took off together, we disbanded in a couple of hours but the sun’s round would take twelve hours to complete. So long guys. I know I will meet this far away burning ball on this course tomorrow but I would like to come across these golfing stars again. 

(I conceal the identity of the three golfers in respect of their privacy.)


Ahsan Jamil

Golfer, entrepreneur, blogger, author, poet, wanderer.



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