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Point of View: A Pro(am)posal

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 12:09

‘We all have issues . . .” a fellow player said as he surveyed us, the three of us being well along in life, following a recent tennis doubles match. Heads nodded.

Mine too, though I couldn’t think of any issues at the moment in my case other than those of The Star that come out every week. Something will happen, I know; meanwhile, let’s play ball.

I got an idea this morning (I told Hugh King once that I had one idea a week, which he said was one more than most people here had), and that was to have a pro-am for East Hampton Indoor/Outdoor Club players over 80. I think there are more than a few of us — even a nonagenarian, I’ve been told — though I, myself, must live a half-year more in order to qualify, which means that we can’t do it until next summer.

Scott Rubenstein, the club’s managing partner, to whom I pitched the idea, was not unreceptive. There were not only a good number of octogenarian members at E.H.I.T., he said, but their level of play was pretty decent. 

Playing this morning with John Healy, a 62-year-old who covers the court like a blanket — and knowing there would be open pro-ams at East Hampton Indoor and Buckskill this weekend — probably served to flesh the idea out.

What a joy it is to know, as you stand at the net, that your partner has it within him to chase down lobs to the left and right, and that, once having done so, can go back on the attack.

My blithe mood of late has had much to do with a new racket

I’ve bought, a German-made Volkl, whose frame is light, yet firm, and whose strings are zingy. I’ve stuck some lead tape strips under the frame at the top to give my serve more oomph. And, to allay Mary’s fears, have promised not to kiss it should I win.

When I let the racket lead the way, things work out quite well. When I lose, I know it’s been because of me, not the racket. Come now, you might say. But it’s true.

Yes, an 80-plus pro-am would be fun, and, as I told Scott, it would also be a good story.

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