September 2, 2022

Faces of the NCGA: Jeff Ford, a Poem For Golf in Late Summer

Jeff Ford has been an NCGA member via the Monterey Bay Golf Club for several decades. The following is one of Ford's poems, which paints a picture of late summer golf through an adolescent’s eyes. The photo above is of the windmill on the former Rancho Canada East Course in Carmel.

 

FIRST SWINGS

Dusk filtered across the summer fairways and quietly entered the Rancho Cañada cart barn

Where a boy lay weary on a wooden bench, spent after hours of cart washing, and cleaning,
And the tedious gleaning of the driving range.

 Lulled by the hum of his charging carts, the boy dozed,

As Dusk gently massaged his bare feet, feet still too large for a boy’s body

He wiggled his toes and dreamed of places his feet had yet to visit,

How it would feel pressing the gas pedal of his own car.

 Suddenly, the silhouette of two bikes swelled above him in the doorway

He leaped up laughing as his friends raced him to the barrel of lost clubs,

Intent to make one more mark on their day.

 One club, one ball, one tee only

Light enough perhaps for two holes in the gloaming;

One played out, the other back in

As the ebb and flow of fairways go.

 So each boy took his glorious turn on the tee, with a tap, tap wiggle-waggle whack!

Launching their white filaments against the fading blue,

Skipping barefoot above the shimmering sea of grass

With no bags, no scorecard, and no shoes.

 The heat of day woke the stuttering rain birds

Who sprayed a rainbow of water onto their delighted heads and the dry grass

As old man Windmill above the 18th fairway waved his arms,

Urging them onto their final shots.

 Then the boy felt a surge raising up from the earth through his bare feet

Into the graceful ease of his swing, exploding out the club head of his adopted 5- iron.

And the twin mirrors on his cheeks reflected the perfect flight of the ball

As it bounced once on the green, struck the pin, and dropped straight into the cup.

 The boys hooted their joy as he raised his club to heaven,

Memorizing that first sweet swing of perfection

Gifting their young hearts with hope, and the promise of what might be.

 

Jeffrey Ford

For Samuel Nicholas Ford (1/24/90-7/16/18)