Golf is a Four-Letter Word

Dearly Beloved  loves golf. . . he has an appreciation for it that puts it on a level just beneath “sacred.”      No Big Bertha in his bag. . . everything is classic with him.   He considers it a gentleman’s game.   Does that include the idiot who yells,   “In da HOLE!” after every shot?  

Men invented it, all right.  With all  the talk about stiff shafts,  waggling the club, lipping  out, et al,  we don’t need Freud to tell us  that men invented the game.   

They didn’t do such a good job of it, either.   The reason they play 18 holes is because the first course ran to the sea after nine holes. . . so they turned around and played the same holes backwards.  I’m surprised they didn’t build a bridge and keep going.  Golfers can be a bit fanatic sometimes.   

I understand why DB loves it.  I admit that I wasn’t  thrilled with his playing when we had kids at home and he had a tee time every Saturday, but we’re past that.  He carries his bag and gets good exercise, he wears sunscreen, doesn’t gamble.  So now it’s Go early. . . stay late, Babes!

Watching the game on television. . .THAT is the worst!!!!  The networks and cable channels run it for hours on end, and after that, there’s still  the golf channel.  C-Span has more excitement during  the House roll call.   My sainted grandmother used to decline things  by demuring, “I’d rather be put behind a mule and farted to death.”   In the case of the golf channel, I’d give her option serious consideration.   Maybe we could throw in a Gilligan’s Island marathon behind Door #3.  I’d probably go with that one. 

A tournament last for DAYS, for goodness’ sakes. . .    hours and hours of listening to announcers drone and whisper!  How irritating is that?!      

As pathetic as the “in da hole”  guy is,  there’s one other shouter who is even more distracting:  the one on our sofa–the one who moans in agonized tones,  “OH NO!  He MISSED It!!!”  or jumps up, cheering, “He made it!!!!  Birdie!”    A missed putt by anyone is an arrow into his heart and he insists on sharing it with me.  Not  content to watch it alone, he’ll yell, “Watch this shot!”  or “Look at that view!”   Picture yourself being  in the middle of trying to knit the next 60 stitches and having someone  your concentration broken on  the 49th one.  Can you think of a creative place to ram that knitting needle? 

Are golfers just a little prima donna-ish?   Basketball players are expected to make free throws in a gym full of people shouting and waving signs to distract them,  baseball batters have to react to 100mph fastballs, but a golfer?  Cough at the wrong time and you’ll be glared off the course.  And the ball is just sitting there!  No one is throwing it at you, trying to take it away from you, or trying to knock you silly because you have it. 

DB played golf on the first Christmas Eve of our marriage.  It was, he told me, something that “they” had been doing for years.  They’d play a round or two,  have their annual  poker game in the old clubhouse, then reminisce about the events of the year.  Hole by hole, no doubt.   I said nothing to dissuade him.  (Well, that’s how I remember it, anyway.)   

I did ask him to stop on the way home and pick up something I needed for Christmas Day.  No problem, he said… but then he didn’t leave to come home until nearly midnight and the store were long closed by then. 

He’d had to give his golfing pal “Big Ed”  a ride home, serving as Ed’s designated driver, I guess.  All of the other wives understand this completely, he assured me, genuinely baffled at my aggravation.

The phone rang.   It was “Big Ed,”  calling from a service station pay phone up the road from his home.  His wife had locked him out.  Could DB come and get him. 

What do they call those?  Pivotal moments?  DB looked over at me, the Christmas tree, the fireplace…  then said quietly into the phone, “It’s not too cold out tonight, Big Ed.  Maybe you should just stay where you are.”

And the next Christmas Eve, so did he.







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