Her eyes bulged wide, I can tell you, and she turned her head to stare me square in the face.
I had to smile and wave a deprecatory hand at Harry. "Hey," I objected. "Don't say that, Harry. There are so many tournaments here you can't tell who's the champ." At that moment I saw no need to wallow around in the sordid business of handicaps. Turning to her I said, "I'm just the most recent champion, that's all." She thought I was being modest—as indeed I was. "I was just lucky with a couple of two-footers," I said with a shrug.
She exploded into laughter at that, though I didn't mean to be particularly funny.
"You're not by any chance going to play this afternoon, are you?" she asked me. I told her I certainly was, and explained my purpose. She asked nervously if she would hold me up if she went around with me. "I'm not a beginner," she said defensively.
"I'll bet you're not," I said politely. I wish I had bet money.
I told her it would be O.K. In fact, we'd make it a playing lesson. I'd explain the best way to attack the course. "But you'll have to tee off from the men's tees," I said. "I'd hate to think where the balls would land if I stroked them from the ladies' tee." Harry chuckled at that.
"That would be just great," she said, glowing with pleasure.
"Incidentally," I asked her, "did you ever play Wampahonsset?"
"No," she said.
"It's a public links," I informed her. "Beautifully laid out. A test for any golfer—especially the strategic 4th. First time I played this hole I got an eagle. It's a dogleg with a sharp break to the right. I hit completely around it." I showed her with a gesture the course of the ball, like one of Hubbell's sharp-breaking screwballs. She appeared to understand. "It's like the long 5th at St. Andrews—Hole o'Cross, they call it. Or the first at Pine Valley."