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Companion Diaries: Micah & Jim

Golf ball on tee
From one of our Activity Companions, Micah:

My Friend Jim

Last Friday afternoon I hung out with Jim for the 3rd time in 8 weeks. On our first two get-togethers, we split a hundred golf balls at the driving range and perfected every shot from our pitching wedge to our driver. After two practice sessions at the range, we decided to up the stakes and go play 9 holes at the local golf course.

I arrived to the golf shop at 1:10 for our 1:20 tee time, and Jim had already paid for his course fee, bought a few golf balls, was waiting for me, and was ready to go. I quickly paid, then the two of us walked to the first hole.

Jim claims his late wife didn’t like golf, so he stopped playing once married. Since his wife’s passing in the past year and moving across the coast to live with his daughter, he’s decided to get back into the sport. While he is no longer the 20 year old player I’m sure he once was, he very clearly still has the muscle memory and coordination of someone who has played many rounds of golf. Over the first two sessions at the driving range, he is not shy to let me know the weaknesses with my swing.

As we arrived at the first tee box, Jim rustled around in his golf bag looking for his newly purchased golf balls, only to realize he accidentally left them in the golf shop. He walked back to the shop and I allowed a player behind us to play through.

Jim got back, laced up his golf shoes, and stepped up to the tee box to hit his first drive in over 40+ years from the first tee box. I quickly followed Jim with my 3-wood as I can’t hit my driver straight to save my life and the two of us were off.

Later on during our afternoon, I learned that Jim spent most of his career doing economics research at the federal reserve. He explained to me that working at the fed was a pretty good gig for an economist as they had all of the data they could want, so he was able to understand and model the financial risk banks were taking better than they could themselves. I asked him if the financial crisis of 2008 was a stressful time period and he quickly kept things in perspective, “I think it was a lot more stressful for the banks, than for me.” I got a good laugh at Jim’s quick wit and enjoyed learning about his career as an economic researcher.

Nearly 3.5 hours later, we each putted our way in to finish the 9th hole. We both hit some good shots and some bad shots, but all in all, we had a great day.