Bryant Jacobs is standing at the bottom of a steep gully in front of the 14th green at the River Oaks Golf Course.
He predicted the ball would end up here — it sometimes does when he tries to reach this green from the tee — but he keeps trying to clear the ditch anyway.
An arcing chip shot puts the ball back into play. He flips his wedge over in his right hand and does the same with the putter in his left.
Using the clubs as canes, he shuffles his way up the gully's easiest slope.
Under normal circumstances, he wouldn't be playing this early in the season. But these aren't normal circumstances.
For one thing, it's 62 degrees out. In Utah. In February.
For another, this is likely to be his last round of golf on two natural legs. The doctors at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City have finally consented to his wish: In two weeks, Jacobs is scheduled to have his right leg amputated.
He knows it's a gamble.
"I could run into complications," he says, lighting a cigarette after the nine-hole round of mostly par golf — played, as always, from a cart. "I could run into infections. Potentially I could lose my leg all the way up to my hip. But I also know that nothing is going to change for the better at this point unless I try."
He pats a hand on his belly. He's 50 pounds heavier now than he was when he joined the Army. He's tried to stay in shape, but his limited mobility makes it tough.
Two men in yellow sweaters — one who looks to be in his 60s and the other who might be a decade or two older — pass in a cart.
"Look at me," the 33-year-old says. "I'm walking slow. I need a cane. I can golf — and that's great because I love to golf, but I didn't think this would be my entire life.
"Tomorrow when I wake up, I'm going to be in pain. I'm going to be in pain and I'm really not going to be able to do anything at all — just because I played nine holes of golf today."
The cigarette is gone now. Jacobs grabs the remaining pack of Marlboro Lights from the golf cart dashboard and shoves it into his pocket.
"I'm ready to act my age," he says.