So it was a blessed relief to look at my schedule on Sunday morning and see that my final clinic was Range Rovers, the golf-school equivalent of study hall. As I wandered over to the range, whom did I see but Tweedledee and Tweedledum—Perpich and Forney—advancing on me.
"Don't come up on me," I warned them, reprising Latrell Sprewell's prethrottle command to P.J. Carlesimo. I was as confused and disoriented as one of their jackknife-traumatized hens, I told them. I was a blistered, helpless golf zombie. I just wanted to stand there and talk. So we did, recalling the highlights of the previous evening. Along with Forney's wife, Elaina, and a fair number of the women in town for the Tupperware convention, we'd shut down the hotel bar. It was Elaina who described, with delicious cattiness, some of the gowned Tupperware ladies as "women who've been lied to in fitting rooms across the South."
I, too, had been deceived. After a while Perpich handed me a five-iron and suggested an easy drill. He would tee up a ball—way up, as high as possible—and I would take a flat, easy swing. "Get used to the idea of turning your shoulders and following through," he said.
I did as I was told and finished golf school on a high note, grooving a series of shots, straight and true, toward the back of the range. That chimera of success was enough to fuel my hopes that the lessons of the weekend were, perhaps, coalescing; that I might someday enjoy a sub-six-hour round with the old man after all.
Perpich sent me away with a handshake, a smile and one last tip: "Keep pecking away at it."