The Eighteenth

Ken F. T'12, April 01, 2012 | 0 comments
Tags: first year, second year, community

My wife said to me this weekend that our class gift should be to name the 18th hole at Hanover Country Club after the Tuck Class of 2012. I kind of like the juxtaposed frivolity and endurance of her idea. And it got me thinking: the Tuck MBA is quite a lot like the 18th at HCC.

The player approaches the tee looking over a sizeable gully (Fall A). The view is spectacular: very cool, exciting, but daunting. Clearing the gully isn't as hard as it looks, though. Only slightly uphill, a 150 yard drive with a little loft should take you comfortably onto the fairway beyond. From the tee box, you cross a bridge over the gully, in postcard perfect surroundings and with good friends. There's a slightly strenuous hill on the other side to get up to the fairway. But once you're there, the rest of the hole is in full sight.

The second shot is winter term. A lot of pressure to get it right (lots of people doing internship recruiting) but it's a generously wide fairway, and even a slice is not a disaster. If you ping a straight iron into the air, you're pretty much set for the rest of the hole. You stride along in the sunshine and brisk breeze, skirting the shade of the pines to your left, and set up for your approach shot. There are a few bunkers on the right, and some tricky tree-filled rough if you hook it. But a sweet wedge should land you pretty on the green, ready to go for the birdie.

Sure, there's a little work left to do, but the 18th green (senior spring) is a happy place to be. You are surrounded by people you have been through a lot with and think a lot of. You can look at each one and remember the arm around the shoulder they offered when you sliced your ball into the woods. You helped them look for their ball in return. They cheered you when you hit the green in one... and you laughed together when you four-putted for a double-bogey. None of it really matters now, yet it is all poignant and affection-filled.

You pull out your putter. Handshakes and smiles await, then the clubhouse (dis-orientation), then the big bad world, where success is so much less well-defined, and your friends are no longer beside you all day. Fear not, the course is always there, alongside the memories, and you can revisit both as often as you like for the rest of your life.

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