A young man with a few hours to spare one afternoon figures that if he hurries and plays very fast, he can get in nine holes before he has to head home. As he is about to tee off, an old gentleman shuffles onto the tee and asks if he can join him. Although worried this will slow him up, the younger man says, “Of course.”
To his surprise, the old man plays quickly. He doesn’t hit the ball very far, but it goes straight. Furthermore, the old man moves along without wasting any time.
When they reach the ninth fairway, the young man is facing a tough shot. A large pine tree sits in front of his ball, directly between it and the green.
After several minutes pondering how to hit the shot, the old man says, “You know, when I was your age, I’d hit the ball right over that tree.”
With the challenge before him, the young man swings hard, hits the ball, watches it fly into the branches, rattle around, and land with a thud a foot from where it had started.
“Of course,” says the old man, “when I was your age, that tree was only a metre tall.”