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"What are you doing next Sunday?" he asked one day.
"Huh?" I said, since I had not heard his question.
"I've been telling my father-in-law how interested you've become in golf, and he suggested that we ask you to walk around with us some Sunday so you can get an idea of what the game is like," said Peterson. "I'll pick you up in my car, and we'll drive out to Mr. Hawley's club. Think you can be ready by 9 o'clock?"
When I was one-and-twenty jobs were not plentiful; and jobs like this one would, at any age, make hens' teeth look as commonplace as a head cold. Sunday morning, at 9 o'clock, I was ready.
"Mr. Hawley used to shoot in the low 80s, but he's slowed up a lot," young Peterson said to me on the drive out to the club. "He's very proud, though, of the fact that at 76 he still breaks 100 without too much trouble, as you'll see."
What I also saw, after we reached the club and I was introduced to Mr. Hawley and we walked out to the first tee, was that the old man didn't really care very much about whom he was playing. I could see, the moment the tall, spare, white-haired figure addressed his ball, that golf was not a game to him. This was passion.
And like so much passion, I saw a couple of moments later, Mr. Hawley's could not stand very close examination: his beautifully timed and surprisingly vigorous swing hooked the ball off to the left in a slow bouncing roll that went not much more than 100 yards.
I looked quickly at the old man. I thought he would utter some sound or speak some word indicating his irritation. Not at all. Mr. Hawley did not even look annoyed. He was too busy doing something that struck me as odd: he dipped into the right-hand pocket of his knickers, pulled out something I could not see and transferred it to his left-hand pocket. Then he strode off down the fairway.
Another surprise was waiting for me when both players sank their putts at the end of the first hole.
A STATISTICAL SURPRISE