I was standing on number one tee last Monday excited and glad to be there.
It was not unusual as like any golfer worth his four-letter word vocabulary, this was going to be my new best round. On or about the fourth hole I was wondering why I was there, which also is not unusual, as I was well into my new worst round.
All golfers — without provocation, reason or swinging a golf club — think their next score will be fifteen strokes better. My guess is that Nike, Calloway, Taylor Made, et al, embed biochips in the club shafts that cause irrational thinking and more trips to the toilet. I’m not sure about the toilet as most of the people I play with are beyond the age of consent (for Medicare) and therefore go to the toilet a lot already. I’m pretty sure about the irrational thinking.
Frankly, I’ve never bought into the basic concept of golf though I’ve been flailing away at golf balls for over four decades. After investing all that money into clubs, balls, ugly hats and shorts it’s hard to admit what you’ve obsessed about all these years is pretty much nothing but aberrant behavior. Plus I’ll own up to a fear of inadvertently doing something useful in my retirement years.
Rounding up to the nearest whole number, I’ve probably flailed two million flails at white, dimpled and deceptively resilient hard-rubber balls. More than half of which have been made within spitting distance of the target, a four-inch can in the ground that moves of its own free will. I should add a few hundred swings at yellow balls when I was desperate to find a cure for the curse. They added nothing except for matching the jaundiced streak down my spine that wouldn’t allow me to toss my clubs in the lake and walk away still with a smattering of self respect.
The problem with golf is the fierce dichotomy that renders it a hopeless and embarrassing cause. It requires two different and mutually exclusive physical and emotional attributes — strength on the tee and touchy feely-ness on the greens. There’s only one guy in the world that can do both, which if you’re good with math, leaves you with a one in six-billion –- less bin Laden as he’s inside a cave — chance of playing the game well. It’s not something to have etched in your mind as you approach the first tee with a fifty-cent robin and your pride on the line.
I’ll try to make reasonable comparisons here as it’s important to understand the impossibilities of golf.
Gorillas are good at smashing things; ballerinas are better at locking their knees together, standing on their tippy-toes and tapping a ball twenty feet with a dainty curve to the right or left. Golfers are expected to do both. That doesn’t happen in other sports as “going both ways” on the field went out with girdles and feather balls (not necessarily related). Off the field I guess “both ways” is still “in” but this is not social commentary.
In football, three-hundred pound behemoths ram the ball down the field so a hundred and fifty pound pantywaist can flit to the twenty yard line and sidekick a ball through two cute little upright poles. The latter might be a feat comparable to sinking a forty-foot putt, but behemoths don’t waste their time trying to doing it. Point is, a lot of people can putt, particularly if they’re light in the cleats and not inclined to smash things.
Spitting and chewing, hard-ass Indy drivers aren’t required to go four-hundred and ninety-nine laps, coast the last one and finish by gracefully parallel parking their car in a precise hole in the ground.
Baseball players don’t keep their head still, back straight, bend over thirty-degrees, stick a bat in their belly and roll the ball over the pitcher’s mound to first or second base on the last play. If they did it would be left to designated ball rollers.
So why are we still putting? You can do that through a clown’s mouth at mini-golf. Let’s get rid of it and play smash-mouth golf. Smack the ball as far as you can toward the green, pick it up if you can find it, put it in your pocket, and go home happy. Or allow designated putters who must wear dresses, with matching soft spike heels of course.
Yep, you’re right, I can’t putt.