Today is the first installment of a new column where I will rant about something happening in the golf world. It may be a news reaction, a complaint about something that bothers me on the golf course, or anything else I feel like writing about. You may agree, you may disagree, and you may even think I’m an idiot. In that case you would be wrong, but anyways, check back on Thursdays and see what’s on my mind.
I used to get pissed on the golf course. They say golf is a gentleman’s game, but I rarely treated it that way. I played more of a grown baby’s game with a much larger, and more inappropriate vocabulary. As my game improved, my anger didn’t subside… it just evolved. In the early stages, a topped ball that dribbled shamefully towards the ladies tees was followed by a barrage of four letter words, usually loud enough to offend the elderly couple on the green next-door.
As my game progressed and I began shanking fewer balls, different things sent me off the handle. A 3-putt bogey on the first hole would bring about more foul language, and depending on my group, more embarrassment on the part of my playing partners. It was also likely to completely ruin my round, or at least the front 9. I’ve played more than enough golf to know that I’m not alone in this. It really is a stupid game, and you are better off treating it that way, or you are in for a longggg day.
Anyways, I like to think I’ve grown up a bit, and a few rotten holes now usually means I’m stopping the cart girl to purchase a couple strong adult beverages, or “swing lube” as us hackers like to call it. That’s a much healthier alternative than working yourself towards a heart attack with every bad swing. I’ve been trying to avoid the anger that has plagued my golf game for years, and while it still tries to creep up from the depths nearly every time I tee it up, I try and swallow it as best I can, and with Budweiser if possible. Golf is meant to be fun, and there are a lot of reasons why getting mad just ain’t gonna help ya.
I played with a couple guys a few weeks back who are a perfect exhibit A. I’m no pro golfer, probably a 14 handicap on a good day. These guys made me look (and feel, which was quite nice) like a PGA TOUR player. Not that they kept score, but there was no chance either of them took less than 140 blows to get around 18 holes. I had my career round that day, a 77, and I am still pretty confident they had more fun than I did… Whenever I’m having a crappy day on the links, I’ll think about those guys. No matter how bad you are, there’s always someone worse. Unless of course you really are the worst golfer in the world… in which case, there’s always bowling.
But the real reason I will
never try to never get mad on the golf course again comes from a news article I read the other day. I can’t do it justice, check out the story below:
“I can’t believe this actually happened. Last Saturday [Oct. 17] my buddy and I played at Hansen Dam golf course, a Los Angeles Muni. It’s in a bit of a sketchy neighborhood but I’ve never had any problems before.
“I parked the cart on the path near the 9th hole (which happens to be next to the parking lot and driveway) to putt and when I got back it was gone. The green is next to the cart path but no of us noticed it being driven off. The bastards got away, down the driveway and into the neighborhood. Someone spotted the cart and tried to follow but lost them (obviously not because of speed).
“Not only did they get our clubs and my range finder, but also wallets, keys, glasses and cell phones. Because they got everything and knew our address, I had to quickly shut down my credit cards, re-do the locks on the house and office (they had my business cards) as well as re-code the key fobs for 2 cars ($1000!).
“The scary part was that they came to our house on Sunday night and went into one of the cars that we could not get the key code changed right away. We had blocked it in the driveway with another car and they took what they could fine which was only my wife’s shopping bags. My insurance should cover some of the costs but at the end of the day this will cost at least $3K not including the time spent dealing with the bull.
Yikes. This oughta’ make it a little easier to remember that things could always be worse when you are out on the links…
This kind of turned into a reverse-rant… talking myself out of anger. I’ll try and bring a little more cynicism to the post next week.