We've made it to the 3rd when Sam graciously sends out to the local deli for refreshments. Sam's brother Jimmy, the greenskeeper, gives me a doughnut as I'm pondering my lie in a bunker. I card another nine and start thinking seriously of cold beer. "It's a little early for that, isn't it?" asks Jimmy. My expression tells him it is, in fact, a little late. Ten minutes later Jimmy catches us on the 6th fairway with a shopping bag full of beer. It is 11 a.m.
Things, as you can imagine, get worse. We get bumped off Pebble by a couple of guys from the Bronx wearing rubber boots, and Sam switches us to the back nine at Thunderbird. Through six holes I'm shooting 40, and my friend is up by four strokes. Sam recommends lessons, my friend recommends tennis. I've got something better in mind. Home to some boilermakers and the telephone. Got to give Bing Crosby a telephone call. It was, I'll tell him, the next best thing to being there myself.