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Tee Box with a View: Sometimes we can see beyond the course from here

by Peter Fibiger

We’ve all seen that New Year’s cartoon: Father Time as the personification of the previous year, usually depicted as an old man with wings, dressed in white robes and carrying an hourglass. Traditionally, he “hands over” the duties of time to a diaper-clad baby.

Peter Fibiger served as PNGA president from 2018-2021. “My view from the tee brings both sorrow and optimism.”

I can’t recall a time when it’s been more gratifying to know that the old man has wings. I hope he puts them to the most strident use possible and disappears into the mists of time with 2022 firmly clutched in his grasp.

A jaded look back to be sure, but it’s not without reason that the “tee box with a view” has been missing in action for some time.

Let me explain.

Immediately following the last “View,” my group of golf-addicted cronies lost one of our members to a cocktail of afflictions that included both diabetes and cancer. Within the next three months, another of us took the long journey, having been diagnosed with cancer and departing less than six weeks later.

I can relate another couple of similar tragedies of loss that occurred since, but won’t, as I’m certain you get my drift, sad as it is.

We all suffer loss at different times, but these ones seemed to arrive in numbers, and every one of these folks I’ve referenced were younger than me by at least 10 years, and a couple a lot younger still. That fact makes those losses all the more indigestible.

Without drilling too much further down into the effect of these events, let me just say that they hit me much harder than I might have anticipated, and put a substantial pall on the view from my tee.

Thankfully, time marches on, and each step into the new year delivers a brighter outlook, at least from the tee, if not from the daily news.

And therein lies another great gift from the game. As we are overrun with the impact of daily events and responsibilities, those hours we are afforded on the golf course provide the most satisfying escape imaginable. No other diversion in life, at least in mine, can provide the same balance of challenge, introspection, camaraderie, exercise, and an overwhelming appreciation of nature’s beauty. Halfway up the first fairway, I’m already far removed from whatever concerns were gnawing at my mind when I pulled into the parking lot.

There is no avoiding thoughts of those aforementioned lost golf buddies, particularly on the course and over a Guinness after a round, but the path from every green left behind to the next tee ahead is a little easier to walk as the days roll by.

And the view from the tee is once again tinted with a cautious optimism that there may just be a birdie or two up ahead.

Peter Fibiger served on the PNGA Board of Directors for 18 years, including 12 years on the Executive Committee and more than a decade as the PNGA Communications Committee Chairman. He also served as PNGA President from 2018-2021. He lives in Victoria, B.C., and will tell a few tales over a Guinness. Click here to read the full article on Peter’s impact on the PNGA and the golf community.