Just Another Sunny Monday

Tom Velarde
Golf Professional
Black Mesa Golf Club
La Mesilla, AZ

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Monday is a golf pro’s Sunday; the one most of us will take off to enjoy God’s great gifts in life. Like any good day off, I like to play golf and I like to take my best friend with me, my bride.

On this particular Monday, we played Cochiti Lake. It’s just a few miles down the road and makes for a quiet and stress free, easy getaway. The course was in great condition and not too crowded (it is a Monday, though). After checking in, we made our way to the first tee. We normally do not hit any range balls and do not take a “breakfast” or “early morning” mulligan, so off we went.

The first hole is a par 5, slightly downhill, and plays to 650 yards. Well, really about 520 but in my mind I always stretch them out; makes me feel like the bogey was not bad that way. Some days are just magical! A drive split the center and my honey was also in the fairway. She hit her normal good second and I got all of mine on the green. She hit an easy third on and, a few putts later, we had one birdie and a par. The second and third holes (par 4’s) were clones of how Hogan played. Down the center, on the green, dead center lip out birdies. My bride was keeping pace with a par and a bogey and the day was going great.

The fourth is a par 3, with a lake in front and to the left. The pin is cut left and the green slopes towards the lake. A prudent shot would be a little long and right. She hit it 12 feet behind the pin. I was prudent; 25 feet right and high of the pin was very safe, for me. As I lined up a very tricky and fast down hill slider, I could hear my baby saying, “Watch out.” Good advice, I thought. Then she said, “Don’t go in the water.” Better advice, I thought, and hunkered down even more. Before I drew back my new prized putter, she said, “Don’t get wet.” Well…now I knew even my feeble brain needed to see what in the world she was talking about.

My gaze first went to her but she had her attention riveted on the opposite side of the lake. I followed her gaze and there was a young blue heeler playfully running around, trying to catch frogs. “Do you think she is chasing fish?”, my bride asked. “No, I think they’re frogs, honey”. We watched for a few minutes as the pup ran the lake a few times, sometimes jumping in the lake and enjoying every minute.

I went back to my putt and proceeded to run it a good 8 feet by. She makes hers, dying the putt in the hole. I miss my come-back for par. We go on to the next tee and she says, “That dog is certainly having fun”. I just nodded as I put down her 2 in red with a circle and my 4 in green with a box.

Bogeys never seem to have the same effect on me anymore, when my playing partner in golf and life gets to experience the best. Take your honey out to play and remember to watch the life around you just enjoying the small things.

Tom Velarde is the Director of Golf at Black Mesa Golf Club in Espanola, New Mexico,
just northwest of Santa Fe. For more information or to reach Tom, email