Unexpected inter-fraternity bonding on the links


Four greek-affiliated men, each from a different fraternity, walked up to the first hole of Windy Hill Country Club and teed off. What happened next may come as a surprise to many. The four got along quite well, and the world continued to spin. A curious foursome indeed-- members of Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Chi fraternities.Yet it proved to be something much greater than an assemblage of four unique identities. This fall outing brought us together with the goal of scoring better than the other teams, and while doing so, the greatness of humanity was on display.
Admittedly, the ensuing 90 minutes was marred with what was the worst personal golf in recent memory. There was no exceptional talent to speak of. While we mostly hacked our way around the course, managing to find an occasional shot to be proud of, the situation brought about necessary greek bonding. The collective commiseration of wretched golf created an unanticipated bond. We hesitated at first to open up, but as the round progressed, we became more comfortable. Uncontrolled laughter at the sight of my inability to hit a drive past the forward tees became especially appropriate.
On more than one occasion, as the eager group behind us narrowly missed our heads with their shots, our group bonded over an awkward blend of fear, frustration and absurdity. At times when one of us managed to hit a good shot, a collective pride could be felt. And although the execution of that particular shot could only be accredited to one individual, we all felt good about it, and it seemed as though we were a part of shared experience.
On this particular course, our nine-straight pars was nothing to be proud of. The other two teams ended at five under, an impressive score for that October day. But instead of achieving golfing greatness, we built a unique relationship. Our golfing voyage had left us with a new fellowship.

- Burns is a senior from West Lafayette, Ind., majoring in political science.