The Pats are in camp this week and it’s the first time since the big game copyrighted by the en eff el I’ve thought about how 18-0 became a joke. Streaks are destined to end, but some, like the consecutive scoreless run I’m on sure seem to keep themselves alive. Speaking of a long-ass streak, my baby brother has never beaten me on the golf course. Ever. Yeah, there was that time he hung with me through 18 while he had a testicle ascended into his left lung, but still, an “L” is an “L” whether you’ve got one nut or three. Lance Armstrong won 7 consecutive Tour de France, but enough about the one shy of a pair thing.

Even swinging with both boys descended, Corey has been unable to prevail. Sunday’s contest at Templeton’s Templewood Test Track was no exception. Lil’ Bro had a four stroke lead after two, but was down one after 4 in a furious contest of wild inconsistency. As we puffed “Acid” spice infused cigars, the match turned on the par 3 7th when I skulled an 8 iron just enough to cruise it on a line over an 80 yard pond, hop the bank and roll, pin high onto the green. Yep. Dumb luck. The par gave me a two stroke lead I didn’t give back. The truth is, if Corey could putt, he’d win a lot, but he can’t, so he doesn’t.

A couple ugly incidents marred the afternoon’s stroke fest, including a vain breach of the gentleman’s game etiquette by yours truly… Templewood’s Number 6 is a wide, downhill 405 par 4. After holding back all day to minimize my slice, I announced, “Boys, I’m lettin’ her rip.” Some commentary about the woods ensued, but I silenced the critics with a booming drive that sliced less than usual and landed 55 yards beyond Corey’s 200 yarder. Here’s where things went, um, downhill. During a Dad backswing, loud talking by an unruly gallery member (Kyle), prompted a large clump of turf, a 20 yard dribbler, and a piercing scowl from the Senior Circuit member. We called it a grandson mulligan and let “Papa” replay shot # 2 with the extra yardage as a bonus.

Still obsessed with the majesty of my drive, we raced toward it where I proceeded to loft it high with my 7-iron. Then I hit another just short of the green. On the green, Corey spoke with the dryness of a bottle of red wine chased with several bong hits and stale Pringles: “We were going to say something about you committing a breach of etiquette by shooting before Dad and me who were behind you, but when we saw your second shot sail into the woods we decided to let it go…”

I apologized and learned a lesson there. When playing golf, take your time. The woods/water/sand will still be there when it’s finally your turn.