|What really happened to Jack Nicklaus|
"It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course." ~ Hank Aaron
"Baseball reveals character; golf exposes it." ~ Ernie Banks
"The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody put a flagstick on top." ~ Pete Dye
"Golf is a game in which you yell fore.... shoot six, and write down five." ~ Paul Harvey
"I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone's golf game. It is called an eraser." ~ Arnold Palmer
Ah, the accursed game of golf. You'll note that I don't call it a sport. Not with guys dressed like that. And not considering that your typical golfer tends to be older guys sporting a beer gut, whose sole athletic part in the activity is swinging a club at the ball, before getting into that golf cart and going to the next hole (their heart just won't let them walk that far, their knees ache, and they've got a cigar to smoke, you know...). So no, golf does not qualify as a real sport. And yet, for some inexpicable reason, millions of people play it.
Even the Grim Reaper likes to play from time to time. Doesn't he have enough to do?
This is the time of year, of course, when like the birds flying south to migrate, some of the golfers in our northern reaches are busy. They're playing a few final rounds on the links, getting in as much as they can. Because soon it'll be time for them to drive south, to warmer climates, and spend the whole winter playing golf. It's not enough that they're out on the golf courses sixteen hours a day up here; they feel compelled to spend months in the heat of Florida, the Gulf Coast, and Arizona (at least the North American variety of homo golfus fanaticus) playing their favourite pastime all winter long.
They'd just better mind the local wildlife. Gators find stray golfers a tasty meal. Lots of fat and meat on them, you see, usually basted in alcohol, which leaves a unique taste to the meal.
Up here in summer, the golfers still have to mind the wildlife....
When they're not taking advice from their caddies, of course...
I'm not a fan of the game. I find it tedious, to say the least, and I strenuously object to how much land is wasted on these sprawling courses. No other sport (er, activity, since I've already conclusively established that golf is not a sport) takes up this amount of room. I don't understand its appeal. I really don't get why it pulls in the television ratings it does. Let's face it. As boring as golf is, watching it on television is even more so.
My uncle has a brother (or brother-in-law; I've never clarified which one it is), who's obsessed with the game. That little migration scenario I mentioned above? That's him, by the way. He and his wife live in a retirement community linked to a golf course in Ontario's cottage country. All summer long, he's out early in the morning, on the golf course, playing the game for hours on end. He'll come home at the end of the day, thinking only about the next day's playing. His wife, like so many other golfer spouses, is in effect, a golf widow. At least golf widows know where their spouse is, out on the course. As opposed to being in a strip club stuffing fifty dollar bills in the g-string of a stripper named Amber.
This time of year, with the leaves changing colour, he's no doubt playing his last few days of golf, and getting ready for the drive south to spend the next few months. They've been doing it for years now, wintering in the southern states, so he can keep playing golf.
I've already established it's not a sport. And it's not an activity either, really. It's a full blown obsession.
For a good number of years, the golf world has been centered on one player. The not so mighty (anymore) Tiger Woods. He played the game, seemed to have the world at his fingertips (at least the world that takes this idiocy seriously). And he made a lot of money. Then things started going wrong.
Tiger was indulging his fondness for women who weren't his wife, chasing every skirt in sight. In the words of his chief sponsor, he was "just doing it." And of course, as so often happens in these cases, the wife found out. Elin wasn't happy.
These days Tiger's game is gone. His marriage fell apart under all of the strain. He's routinely fallen behind in competition. It seems the life has been drained right out of him.
|These days, Tiger has to play where he can, even during a military engagement.|
|Tiger takes out his hostility on the photographer, while Cigar Guy lurks nearby|
What is it about golf that draws the golfers in? Are they unhappy at home? Are they deluded? Do they like screaming at little white balls and clubhouse caddies? Do they enjoy lying as they write down their scores?
|Mind the gators, lads.|
Mark Twain said it best: golf is a good walk wasted.
If you're marrying a fanatic golfer, don't say you weren't warned. Get used to doing a lot of stuff on your own. Yes, you thought you could put up with it, but the game often means more to your spouse then you do. I warned you, but would you listen? No!
And if you're a golfer (why? I ask you again, why?), one piece of advice: really... mind the bear. He doesn't like golfers either. It just shows that he has very good taste.