Two things perfect, no three.


The Emerald Coast
The Emerald Coast


About ten years ago, I had decided to become more serious about writing and joined the Emerald Coast Writers Group.  I attended a writer’s conference in Ft. Walton and began to receive a newsletter from the group.  Every issue of the newsletter contained a writing prompt people could use to start a piece and submit it for publication in the next issue of the newsletter.

I took the bait on this one:  “Oscar knew he had a long way to go, but he wanted to give Rose the big news in person.”

I had a 250 word limit.  When the next newsletter came out, I saw my first published work.  Here’s how it went.

Oscar knew he had a long way to go, but he wanted to give Rose the big news in person.

For twenty years, every Thursday morning at seven-thirty, Bert, Ramsfeld, Lonnie and he teed off at the muni course in Granbury. Old-timers played for three dollars (carts not included). Rose had never been to the course, but she’d heard so much about it she could describe the holes in progression.

“Did you try to cut the dog-leg on Number Four today?” she’d ask when he got in.

So, today, on his eightieth birthday, when he smoothed a five wood on the 147-yard par three Fourteenth, and the ball hit three feet in front of the hole and took one hop before striking the pin about three feet up and when it ran straight down the stick into the hole for an ace, he felt like he had finally done something to make her as proud of him as he was of her.


It was a six-hour drive to the cemetery, but the sun wasn’t quite down when he pulled to the curb beside her tombstone. He told her the way he felt in that one perfect moment, what the guys had said, how the grass smelled. Then, he pulled his scorecard and ball from his pocket and left them with her.

“She’d never seen a hole-in-one before,” he told the caretaker who was locking up for the night.

My wife still likes that little ditty about as well as anything I have written. I guess it just shows that you don’t have to write a lot of words to make a hole-in-one.

(This story appears in Stephen Woodfin’s short story collection, The Promiscuity Defense and Other Short Stories.)


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