Once there were these two guys playing golf. They had been friends for a long time, and always got together at least twice a month to play around. Neither of them were any good, they both never shot under a hundred, but that didn’t bother them. They just enjoyed hitting the balls around and enjoying the open space and the fresh air. Both of them lived in a particularly densely crowded area of a big city, so it felt good to get away from time to time, if only for a few hours, to forget about the troubles of everyday life.
Because there were only two of them, they were always put with another couple. Usually a couple of friends, but more often than not an older married couple. Both of their jobs were flexible, not your normal nine to five, so they usually played midweek. Which put them with retired people most of the time. And as such, retired people tended to have the same stories to tell. Old teachers, businessmen, a doctor here and there. Once in a while they’d get stuck with a couple of chatty housewives that did nothing but complain about their husbands and their horrible kids.
But not today. Today they were paired with a couple of very strange businessmen. At first they had them pegged as foreigners, but they couldn’t quite place their accent. Middle Eastern, European, they wondered for the first couple of holes. And neither of these players were very forthcoming with what they actually did for a living. They only introduced themselves by their first names, and that they were business partners. They didn’t seem shifty of suspicious, so it was difficult to press the matter. They figured they’d just engage in normal, everyday pleasant conversation, and the two mysterious businessmen would share whatever information they felt comfortable sharing.
But by the time they got to the back nine, their curiosity got the better of them, so they figured they’d try and obliquely, or not so obliquely get as much information as they could. Otherwise they’d go mad trying to figure out who what these two increasingly interesting characters were.
“So how long you too been in business together?”
“Oh, long time. From the start.”
Hmm. That wasn’t any help.
“Are you around here on vacation, orâ€¦.” He let it trail off. Sometimes that worked.
“Yea, that’s kind of hard to describe. We’re here for a little bit of both I guess.”
“So, what, uh, line of business are you in? If, uh, you don’t mind me asking.”
“Oh, no, not at all. It’s just that it’s a very new business, and we are starting to feel things out.”
“But you two have been together, sinceâ€¦”
“Since the start. We’ve had many businesses together. Some successful, some not. This one is big. This one may change everything.”
“Oh, you don’t say?”
“Yea, that’s why this is so important.”
The group ahead had jus finished, and had returned the pin.
The stranger teed up. He looked at his partner.
“Should we tell them?” he asked.
His partner paused, smiled, and nodded his head.
He turned to the two friends.
“Watch this.” He commanded, and turned to address his ball. He had a nine iron. They were on a par three, 189 yards from the regular tees.
Just before swinging, he turned to the two friends one more time.
“If you mention this to anyone, of course we’ll deny it. But nobody will believe you.” He smiled, his mysterious friend was laughing.
“It’s gonna hit top left, bounce twice, and then roll back in a left arc, picking up speed as it does. When it begins to slow, it will hit the pin, and fall into the hole.”
The way he said it was like he was describing a videotape that he’d seen hundreds of times. He turned back, addressed the ball, and took a very awkward looking swing.
The ball hit top left, bounced twice, and then rolled back in a left arc. It picked up speed, and then began to slow. Just as it began to slow, it hit the pin dead center, and fell into the hole. A hole in one.
The two friends were stunned. Speechless. The mysterious partner was laughing uncontrollably.
“Sorry, sorry,” he said. It was the first time he’d spoken after the introductions.
“But the look on you’re faces are priceless.” He composed himself.
“Really, I apologize, I didn’t mean to laugh like that.”
The two friends were dumbfounded.
The mysterious and recently apologetic friend approached the green, and repeated the exact same shot.
“So, how did youâ€¦” he trailed off.
“So you’re in the golf business? You’re gonna corner the market in golf, is that it? But if everybody can do that, won’t it ruin the competition.”
“That’s the secret.” Said the mysterious friend.
“Even if we give you the exact details on how to do what we just did, very few people will be able to repeat this, despite how simple it is.”
“But, how did you do that?” asked one of the friends. The two strangers exchanged looks, and check to see that nobody was waiting. The group behind them were just teeing off on the previous hole. Then they explained everything, in detail, to the two friends.
“You see?” they asked, when they had finished.
“You don’t need any special equipment, all you need is up here, and that simple procedure we just explained. ”
“But it’s so simple, why doesn’t everybody justâ€¦” then it hit him. He smiled, and nodded his head slowly.
“Oh, ok. I got it. Here, let me try.”
He approached the tee, hit with a wedge, and his ball hit just the front lip of the green, and dribbled about halfway toward the cup, stopping within a few feet.
“Not bad for a first try.”
The friend nodded. Smiling, his mind spinning with the possibilities of what he’d just learned.
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