Golf is a good walk spoiled. Mark Twain said it years ago, and there have been many days when I finished up on the links, pulled the calculator out of my golf bag to add up my score, and had to agree with him.
Living here in the north country, I have all winter to read Golf Digest, watch the professionals on TV, and reflect on my game. And, every winter I have my golf swing figured out in my head—gentle grip, take the club back slowly, weight over my right foot, cock wrists 90°, smooth forward motion, weight over left foot at impact . . . . By April, I can’t wait to try out my new technique and watch my score plummet. It never works out that way. It takes about two strokes to figure out my game is just as pathetic in April as it had been back in October.
Golf course designers are mean people . . . sadists. They take a gorgeous landscape, plant flowers and beautiful trees that blossom and manicure the grass, to lull the average golfer into a state of near euphoria. Then, they use their sick, little, twisted, evil minds to place ponds and creeks and sand traps in the locations most likely to attract my golf ball. And whichever scientist decided that the top of an oak tree is 90% air, never hit a golf ball.
If you’ve watched the professionals play golf on television, but have never played yourself, I’m sure the game looks easy. I know you’re thinking: how hard can it be to hit a little ball, sitting perfectly still on a tee, with a big stick? It’s not like someone’s throwing it at you at 100 miles per hour. The answer: extremely hard! Golf balls like the high grass, woods, water, and sand. I think they are specially designed to be attracted to hazards.
Golf is good for physical fitness, building character, teaching one to overcome adversity, and helping to keep a person humble. It is not good for a marriage.
Three years ago, the little woman decided to take up golf . . . and I encouraged her. That was dumbness on my part. At first, I couldn’t help but offer advice on improving her swing. “Sweetie, keep your eye on the ball. You might want to bend your knees a little more. Your feet were aiming in the wrong direction.”
My pointers were neither helpful nor appreciated. “I’ve seen you play, you should just work on your own pathetic swing,” were her exact words.
There are two other problems that have arisen from Winnie’s interest in golf. I hardly ever get a day off to play with just my buddies. Not only do I miss the off-color stories and manly banter, but now Roy, Ted, and Munzie have frequent opportunities to point out that the little woman has out-driven me or has scored a par on the hole I just double-bogeyed. I must say, though, they’re not totally insensitive to how I feel. They compliment me, sometimes, on how far I can throw my putter after missing a three footer.
It has been reported that Confucius say, “Man who play golf . . . he putz.” Average Joe Putz says, “Man who pays for little woman’s golf cart . . . he better off to buy her a Caddy (a Coupe de Ville, or an Escalade).