The CSGA Links Volume 6 Issue 4 August 2018 - Page 7

Of course I had to take a moment (and a picture) with the Charlie bench, especially knowing that in the 1967 Arnold Cup, and on this very spot, Charlie and Marty would have stood two up with three to play. The bench creaked and buckled and nearly collapsed when I took my seat next to the nameplate. My first thought was had Charlie and Marty just sat down each would have accused the other of being too fat, their weight causing stress to this rickety structure. My second was that maybe it’s me who needs to drop a few pounds. Then I could hear Judge Elliot’s voice, high-pitched, nasally and always formal, “Martin, Charles, as you do not have the honor, the two of you can rest on this nice bench while you await your turn to play.” Sitting there it occurred to me how easily I could still picture Mr. Gibbs’ swing (which he himself often described as a “lunge”) and his putting stroke (which on short ones often ended with an abrupt thrust of his chest and shoulders as he lurched bolt upright from the traditional bent-over stance). The thought of a missed two footer and the sound of Marty’s sudden intake of breath at his partner’s bungled stroke seemed to haunt Mr. Gibbs. Even those putts that fell were often accompanied by the contortions of a panicked change in posture, then something resembling a sigh of relief.   Other places we had played, Seaview, Naples Beach Club, Oyster Harbors, came into view. I could picture a scorecard I’d found years ago when cleaning out a garage that was a father-son foursome—Dad and me and Mr. Gibbs and son Wayne. Wayne and I were both about 12 years old and neither of us broke 100. People have been memorializing their friends for years on golf courses. Plaques on walls, bridges, benches and stone markers adorned with a simple tribute bring moments of joy and great memories to those who knew them. Even names we do not recognize, of those we never knew, speak to an understand- ing that to someone, and probably to many, this person whose name is em- blazoned on a permanent marker was one of the great ones. For folks like Charlie Gibbs golf was a joyous adventure where lifelong friendships flourished. And although it’s been many years, it’s still easy to picture Charlie warming up on Waterbury’s practice green, playing 18 holes, and smiling in the grillroom, the two of them, Charlie and Marty, buying the drinks. CSGA Links // August 2018 7