Golf.....

..... the tournament at Wimbledon begins today..... and every year for the past 15, I have watched bits and pieces of the play there..... it's become an annual event for my household........ and never having been a tennis player, I'm awed by the players' abilities.... I took the time to watch The French Open in its entirety this year - something that I've never done before - and while the play was fun to watch, it just didn't have the civility of Wimbledon......

..... I suppose it is the grass.... or perhaps the white tennis outfits..... or maybe the old custom of serving strawberries and cream..... but it just seems so much more gentlemanly (and ladylike) when you watch the players at Wimbledon...... there are no flashy outfits to distract you from play..... it's just more genteel....

.... golf, on the other hand, is another thing all together...... there is an innate gentility to golfing, sure, but there there has always been something about golf that never caught my fancy....... Elisson writes a beautiful post here of fondly remembered golf memories, and it started this whole thought process spinning for me this morning.....

.... while I am a tolerable golfer at times (especially for the first nine holes), I can probably tally the number of times that I have played at well under 100.... and I guess that it is my status as a relative golf novice that keeps me from enjoying televised championships....

.... in all honesty, my first forays into the Golfing World consisted of covert, midnight, commando-style raids to steal harvest lost golf balls from our local country course.....

.... from the ages of 13-16 I was employed by a neighbor to do odd jobs around his home..... I mowed his lawn, helped him paint his log home, repaired broken palettes in his garage (he had a contract with a local manufacturing plant to buy their broken skids, repair them, and then sell them back to them so that the forklift operators could break them again.) ..... and during the occasional moonlit summer night, he'd telephone a few of his golfing buddies for a raid....

... looking back now, it doesn't seem logical for a well-paid, well-known Man of The Community to dress up in camouflage, sneak onto the local golf course, and wade through the ponds searching for errant golf balls...... but that's exactly what we did..... three or four men in their late twenties, and me.... hip deep in a pond, bent at the waist, feeling along the mud for a hard white orb.... and praying that you didn't lose a finger to a snapping turtle or catfish.... many was the time that I swept the murky gloom - my cheek barely touching the surface of the water - that I caught sight of water snakes hunting frogs only feet from where I was.....

..... good lord, I must have been to Ridgewood thirty times before I actually showed up with a proper tee time to play a round..... I still can't watch that scene in 'Apocalypse Now' where Martin Sheen's camo'd face peeps up from the steaming water without remembering Harry and how we stole all those golf balls...... and how much unabashed joy he seemed to get from selling those balls back to the clubhouse for fifty cents a piece......

.... later in life I lived twenty minutes from the course at Carnoustie.... and about thirty minutes from The Old Course at St. Andrews.... both of which hosted The British Open while I lived there...... and now, when I occasionally talk to the Upper Crust of County Society, that are both shocked, appalled, and just a bit saddened - as golfing enthusiasts themselves - to hear that I had so gleefully squandered such golfing opportunities that living 10 years in Scotland had offered me.....

... for instance, the last time that I played a round of golf was at the cliff-side course at Stonehaven in Scotland..... and as I recall, three of the party turned their clubs around and had an impromptu swordfight on the 15th green....

.... and it is forever thus, folks...... I've always enjoyed golf courses, I guess..... but certainly for all the wrong reasons.....

by Eric on June 22, 2009 | Bullshit (9) | TrackBack (0) | SWG Stories
Bullshit So Far

In addition to being a Methodist minister, my Uncle Puz (nicknamed after Barney Google's baby, Puzzems) was a lifelong golfer.

Well, I should say he spent his lifetime playing golf really, really poorly. Never made any improvements at all, really. Just got to the point he could drive a ball a hundred yards or so and that was about it. The rest of the game's techniques got hung up in transit, I suppose. Apparently, even having Jesus on your side is of no help to an unskilled weekend duffer with no short game.

It's the only time I ever heard the man get so upset he would curse. And bellowing, repetitive "God damn its!" out of a Methodist preacher at 7:00am on a dewy summer morning are something to behold.

Bullshitted by Andy on June 22, 2009 10:32 AM

You know you really should not title your post "Golf" and then start writing about Wimbledon. It confuses us blondes.

We had a dog that could sniff out and retrieve tennis balls from the cedar trees lining the tennis courts. It was my little brother's job to lead the dog into the trees. I wish we had thought of the camo.

I am disappointed that you did not take advantage of the Scottish courses. Do you play soccer?

Bullshitted by Lou on June 22, 2009 07:14 PM

Good Lord. The least of your worries in S. FL would be a snapping turtle or a catfish. Hell, you'd flat get eaten by a Gator! We have all sorts of Gators in our ponds along our golf courses. Hell, as you play through, you can see Gators sunnin' themselves on the edges of the ponds! My one son took to trying to hit one with a ball, one time. I nearly stroked when I found out.

Bullshitted by Bou on June 22, 2009 09:24 PM

Sorry, I can't let this go. I live in a community on a golf course. Last year they trapped a 12 foot gator in our neighborhood. Took 'em over a year to finally trap that sucker. (He's now been turned into an array of belts, shoes, briefcases and what not.)

Yeah, nobody's hunting for golf balls in our ponds.

Bullshitted by Bou on June 22, 2009 09:26 PM

Golf: a good walk, spoiled.

I've had to deal with gators, snakes, foxes, and the occasional hungry coyote in my Golfy Adventures... Jimbo would stroke out, and I mean the apoplectic kind...

Bullshitted by Elisson on June 22, 2009 11:41 PM

yeah, back when I was duffing I never went into the water after a ball...good way to lose a hand.

Bullshitted by GUYK on June 24, 2009 10:31 AM

I caught my first and only gator on a golf course...I think I've told you the story.

Back to tennis...these days, the players, both male and female...are machines.

Bullshitted by Sam on June 24, 2009 12:27 PM

Your post, BTW, reminded me of mine own golf-ball shagging days...

Bullshitted by Elisson on June 24, 2009 07:54 PM

I have never played golf. I plan on starting when I'm 60. LOL. You see, one must have goals. I figure golf will be just the thing about then.

As for watching someone else play - I don't have the least interest. Give me a good hockey game any time.

Bullshitted by Teresa on June 24, 2009 11:42 PM