I’ve often wished that I’d taken up golf twenty years earlier, not only so that I could have wasted my physical prime on golf courses instead of in classrooms, libraries, and bars, but also so that I could have attended the University of St. Andrews instead of the college I did. I’d have bought a student golf ticket, which would have enabled me to play virtually free rounds on the Old Course and all the other Links Trust courses until I flunked out—and I still could have ended up in my current profession, since writing about golf requires no education at all. Instead, I’m forced to live vicariously through Slade, whose granddaughter Katie (in the sharp red gown in the photo at right) just matriculated at St. Andrews. As far as I’m concerned, she’s living the dream. And I know that the rest of the Sunday Morning Group shares my conviction that no one ought to pass her college career without frequent visits from her grandfather and his friends, who will be happy to camp out on the floor in her truly awesome-looking dormitory, which is barely a thousand yards from the first tee:
My wife or girlfriend is Naomi, who is a real person I dated in the 1970s. She’s present when I’m approached to take part in some kind of TV event during which I’m to pretend to be Stevie Wonder. No singing, no makeup or disguise, just regular white old me, saying I’m Stevie Wonder. I say OK. We go to this big motel room, where there are a lot of TV tech people and others, plus broadcast equipment. I am given two golf clubs (a putter and an iron), and there is talk of a saxophone. Everyone behaves like this is an ordinary event, and nobody says, Hey, wait, you’re not Stevie Wonder.There aren’t even any formal questions, or even a host. I kind of stand around, with the golf clubs, chatting with people. And that’s it. I realize that the event is over, and the crew starts packing up. One tech guy complains to me about his device and I nod as if I know what he’s talking about. I have a general sense that nobody really knows what they’re doing. Finally, Naomi and I leave, traverse some distance to “go home,” and end up at a wall covered with fabric. At the base of the wall is some sort of concealed hatch. She goes through it, I push down on it with whatever object I’ve been carrying, and prepare to go through it myself. And then I wake up.