The eminently quotable Mark Twain – you realize that all quotes worth their salt originate with Twain, the Bible, Wilde and sometimes Shaw, and I suppose Marcus Aurelius, but I’m a stickler for the original Latin in his case, and since I don’t know Latin, I’m kinda hooped – once said that “Golf is a means or ruining a perfectly decent walk.”
And indeed it is. I like golf courses. They can be quite beautiful bits of landscape. Fly into Palm Springs and you see these wonderful oases of verdancy surround by masses of desert. It all looks so inviting – except for the golf aspec
I don’t like golf. I don’t like golf for three reasons:
- I’m lousy at it.
- It’s almost as boring as, well, watching golf on TV.
- My late father-in-law.
I don’t let it get around much but I actually played (at) a little golf many, many years ago. I was pretty bad but it was one of those kinds of things where one’s companions at it assert such nonsense as: “Oh, don’t worry if you suck. I’m pretty terrible at it, too.” This is designed to suck in the unwary and is a bold-faced lie of the sort perpetrated by the assholes who say, “Oh, come out and shoot some baskets with us, or play volleyball with us. We just do it for fun.” No you don’t. You’re as competitive as hell and this is disconcerting for the guy (like me) who was always 2nd last picked in school sports. No, I wasn’t last, but as good as.
Well, for a while I stuck to my guns and held firm in my resolve that I was golfing for ‘fun’.
But, if truth be known, I never really liked it very much. It wasn’t fun for me. Humiliation rarely is. And I was always relieved to retreat to the 19th hole club to sink a cool one or two. That was more my idea of fun.
As it was, I never got anything resembling good and my golf scores would have made good bowling scores. But I tolerated it because it seemed to be the thing to do.
My real problem was, however (as noted in Point 2) I found it devastatingly boring. It took to long and I ached for it to be over.
Finally, my late father-in-law. We weren’t too terribly close to begin with. He epitomized passive-aggressiveness and I once made the dreadful mistake of going for a round with him. He lived and breathed golf and he felt he could maybe give me some pointers so that I might improve at the game. Huge mistake.
From the moment I stepped up to the first tee he began his kindly, ever-smiling criticisms of everything from my stance, to my stroke and all the while harboring the big resentment that I was screwing his daughter. Of course, I played absolutely horribly and the smug sonofabitch was loving it. “Think you’re so smart, Mr. college-educated boy. Ha, guess I showed you.”
Anyway, my day with FIL was my absolutely worst golf episode ever. I packed the clubs away after that and have never ever set foot on the links again unless it was to attend a social function at a country club.