Butch.   No, this isn’t an autobiography.

It’s a snippet about friendship and golf.  Many golfers will tell you the best thing about golf is the great friends we make. That’s true, but even better is that through golf, we make friends with people whose paths we would never have otherwise crossed.

Butch Cole is one of those people.  Lou is his real first name, but when we first met he said his friends call him Butch.  It took everything I had not to say, “ME TOO!”

Would I ever have met Butch without golf?  He takes trips on his Harley, I open the sunroof on my Subaru.  Butch takes cooking classes, I poach eggs.  Butch spent his entire career in the Military – the closest I’ve been to war is the children’s card game.

But we became friends, and now great friends, because of golf.  Actually, because of fast golf.  I have a Pre-Round Mantra that I sing to myself whenever I’m paired with a stranger:  “Dear Universe, please, please, please, don’t let them play slow, oh please, oh please, oh please”.  I had just been paired with Butch and started my Mantra when I heard Whack! Butch had already teed off. What?  I was still getting my ball and tees out of my bag!  He could be thinking I’m slow!

He turned out to the be the fastest player I’ve ever played with.  Maybe “fast golf” isn’t what other people use as a basis for friendship, but having it in common was the basis for ours.  And it got us past the things that make us seem different to the ways in which we’re very alike.

It was love at first hit.