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‘Over the Hill Gang’ always looking for a few good men for round of golf

Gosh, I’ve enjoyed our nonexistent winter. While I’ve kept the snow blower dusted, fueled, and ready to go, I haven’t missed following it around the neighborhood. Fortunately I’ve been able to maintain a “winter focus” even in the face of unseasonably mild outside temperatures.

An adage maintains: “When spring arrives a young man’s mind turns to love!” The unspoken corollary of this thought is that “When spring arrives an old codger’s mind turns to golf!”

Normally this isn’t a bad thing. Most times this codger forgets inspirational thoughts, and requested chores, directly after they’re suggested. In fact, the development of any cogent, coherent action plan for any day’s activities seems, at best, to be based on a random set of circumstances. Had I not spotted my dinged-up putter protruding from my well-used golf bag Monday morning I would have enjoyed a different kind of a day.

Among the long list of other things, which also seem to disappear as one becomes a codger, is hearing. I mention this fact only because two-thirds of the neighborhood heard my demure, quiet, loving wife exclaim: “Can anyone in this house explain why there’s a dusty, dirty, dinged-up putter lying in the middle of my bed?” I considered answering: “What putter, Honey?” But, wisely chose not to do so.

Instead I hastily reported to the bedroom and removed my crusty putter from our brand-new comforter, while stating: “Hang with me, Honey. Working our way through my second childhood probably isn’t going to be pretty!”

During our ensuing giggle session the “Head of our House” asked, “Are all your clubs that dinged-up!” I replied, “No, my putter is the best of the lot!” Indeed a brief perusal of the rest of the clubs in my bag would show that they’ve been both used, and abused. The truth of the matter is that my “golf game” more closely resembles a caveman’s gopher hunt than the tournament action one typically witnesses on television.

People who excel at the game of golf work at it. I haven’t done so. Consequently, I’ve had some truly frustrating moments on the links. I happened to be golfing with a particularly good friend, Dr. Jack Martin, on one of those days a few years back. He said, “Relax Al and enjoy your surroundings.” He then added, “Golf courses are among the loveliest places conceived by man.” I’ve come to believe Jack was, and is, right on.

I’ve always enjoyed outdoor activities, especially those with a social component. Simply stated, I’m a people addict. These twin passions, a need to be around people while enjoying an outdoor activity, led me to the Over the Hill Gang – a men’s golf group which plays most Monday mornings starting in April and continuing on through September.

You don’t have to be the greatest golfer in the world to join this group of men. Your handicap, or lack thereof, plays no part in the group’s enrollment policies, or playing time. But you must be 60 years of age.

The Gang will be teeing off for its first round of the 2010 season on April 5 at MeadowWood Golf Course. We will be returning to our newly redesigned and refurbished home course, Liberty Lake, when it opens late in May or early in June.

Given “the facts of life,” the Over the Hill Gang is always looking for “a few good men.” If you think you’d be interested in playing a round or two of golf with a bunch of good guys, you can pick up an application during our yearly luncheon at the Valley Eagles Lodge on March 22 at noon. Or you can join us on the links at MeadowWood Golf Course on April 5. Or you can request an application by writing to: Over the Hill Gang, P.O. Box 753, Veradale, WA 99037.

Spokane Valley resident Al LaCombe can be reached by e-mail at

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