Golf – Sept 2017

“I’m no slouch myself.”

“Don’t sell yourself short, Judge. You’re a tremendous slouch!”

Golf is a hugely popular sport steeped in history, tradition… and rules, all of which helps popularize movies like Caddyshack or Happy Gilmore. And to make the rest of us who attempt the game feel like morons.

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I am not an historian, but I believe the same people who invented neckties and waterboarding created the game of golf. Now before you go all crazy in my face and argue, remember you are dealing with a person of diminished capacity. There are no bragging rights to winning an argument with a fool.

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For those of you who play the game, you can skip right to the end because you already know how this story ends – poorly. For those of you who have never or seldom played the game, count your blessings – your self-esteem is healthier for it.

Clearly the act of trying to hit a small stationary ball into a wide-open field is a great game of skill. What? Just when you thought you were all righteous and skilled and master of the universe, you hit your second shot.

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Lost something, have we?

It’s not like I haven’t been exposed to some of the top courses in the world. I have played at Valderrama in Spain, which has hosted the Ryders Cup, Torrey Pines in California that hosts The Farmers Insurance Open, Tierra Del Sol in Aruba, and played at countless great courses across the country – including Death Valley.

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Valderrama in Spain

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Torrey Pines

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Torrey Pines

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Death Valley – even the coyotes are bored

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Morro Bay

I have been to the Masters in Augusta, the PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey and Atlanta, and visited Pebble Beach.

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PGA Championship

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Pebble Beach

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And I have seen some of the best golfers in the world – even got autographs!

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Phil

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Tiger

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Freddy

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Host of autographs

None of this has made a particle of difference in my game.

I think it is the peculiarities of the game that have kept me from reaching my full potential.

Attire. For those of you who know me, you know collared shirts are not in my wheelhouse. People are generally familiar with “business casual”, yet I generally subscribe to “red neck camping casual”, except for when I play golf, where “proper golf attire” is required. That means no jeans, and shirts must have a collar. I hate this rule, particularly when I see examples of proper golf attire.

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Pace of play. This term relates to how fast (or slow) the game plays. Even though I suck at the game, I keep up a good pace of play so I am not slowing down other golfers who actually know what they are doing. I won’t generalize on who I think tends to play slowly, but if you don’t have anyone in front of you and have four groups tied up behind you, MOVE IT ALONG! There, that felt better.

Skill and swing. How do I say this so it doesn’t make me look mentally vacant, but over the last 40 years or so I don’t think my golf game has improved – it may have regressed. I have watched golf videos, taken lessons, watched with warped fascination at the pros playing during tournaments, and realized I don’t even vaguely look like them when I play.

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Not me

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Not me

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Not me

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Me

Equipment. Like in any endeavor, it is important to have the best tool for the purpose. Many golf club manufacturers have teams of engineers designing the most effective tools available. For me, I go to my tried and true “go to” clubs that I seem to use the most.

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And for golf balls? I go to Wal-Mart and buy them by the gross. They don’t stay around long.

I won’t be giving up my day job anytime soon to go on the Tour. For now, I’ll stick to municipal courses, enjoy my senior status, and try to keep a little Zen in my approach to golf.

So, you ask, how did I play today? Not horrible. “You know, theoretically, I could break the club record.”

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