Golf Digress

Physically cultured commentary on Sport and Wellness

The Ghost of Tiddlers Past

"Can't you just smell the male performance enhancement?"

“Can’t you just smell the male performance enhancement?”

SCRIPT  THAT’S GOLF! 12.15.13 SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE, KVET-AM, AUSTIN, TX

THE SHOW WITHOUT ANY PLAYOFF OR BOWL IMPLICATIONS WHATSOEVER! CAN’T YOU JUST SMELL THE MALE PERFORMANCE ENCHANCEMENT? MAYBE THE STUDIO COULD USE SOME AIRING OUT…

WE’RE HERE AGAIN IN THE PALATIAL SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES  SOUTH OF THE RIVER. THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR TUNING IN.

BEFORE WE GET STARTED, YOU WILL HAVE HEARD THERE IS A PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED TODAY FOR 1 P.M. WE WILL HAVE IT LIVE FOR YOU. COACH BROWN VERY MUCH WANTED TO COME ON THE SHOW, BUT I URGED HIM TO SCHEDULE A PRESS CONFERENCE FOR A MORE REASONABLE HOUR. THAT WAY HE COULD SLIP IN A DEW-SWEEPING ROUND EARLY, IF HE WANTED. AND HE AGREED THAT WOULD BE BEST. SO ONE O’CLOCK FOR MACK’S PRESS CONFERENCE. THERE IS STILL A FOOTBALL GAME TO BE PLAYED AGAINST A STRONG OREGON TEAM IN THE ALAMO BOWL.

Not true. The Rock is NOT under consideration for the head coaching position at Texas.

Not true. The Rock is NOT under consideration for the head coaching position at Texas.

I KNOW SEVERAL NAMES HAVE BEEN BANDIED ABOUT: NICK SABAN, KNUTE ROCKNE. NEITHER WILL BE APPEARING ON TODAY’S SHOW…

THE ENDEAVOR IS TO ENHANCE OUR APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOLF.

TYPICALLY, THIS TIME OF YEAR, PEOPLE REACH FOR TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY CLASSICS, LIKE DICKENS A CHRISTMAS CAROL, OR, PERHAPS RE-READ THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. OTHERS ARE NOSTALGIC FOR THE NORELCO SANTA, OR, PERHAPS, THAT WEIRD MONSTER ON THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS, ALONG WITH THE COMFORTING VOICE OF BURL IVES, OR LINUS MAKING HIS WAY THROUGH THE SNOWY NIGHT.

I HAVE TO SAY: THE GRINCH ALWAYS MADE ME VERY UNEASY AS A CHILD. HE STILL DOES.

BUT TO SHOW YOU HOW WEIRD I AM, AROUND THE HOLIDAYS I LIKE TO REACH FOR SOME OF MY FAVORITE GOLF TALES, THE KIND THAT MAKE YOU WONDER. MAKE YOU THINK.

SINCE WE’VE MOVED TO SUNDAY MORNINGS…THAT’S GOLF, A PRESENTATION OF SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE AND YOUR AUSTIN AREA CHURCH OF THE INVETERATE DUFFER, WE TYPICALLY OPEN WITH A VERSE OF SUITABLE INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE. THIS MORNING, I’VE CHOSEN ONE OF MY FAVORITES, A SHORT REFLECTION FROM BOBBY JONES. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS. RATHER IT CONCERNS THE MATTER OF SHORT MISSED PUTTS…JUST THE SORT OF THING THAT MIGHT KEEP OLD EBENEEZER UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, PERHAPS VISITED BY THE GHOST OF TIDDLERS PAST.

SO WITHOUT FURTHER YABBERING, WE TURN TO BOB JONES FOR A LITTLE REMEMBERED MOMENT OF TERROR.

LONG AGO I LEARNED THAT NO PUTT IS SHORT ENOUGH TO TAKE FOR GRANTED,” HE WROTE IN A NEWSPAPER COLUMN, ENTITLED ‘SHORT PUTTS.’ “I HAVE LONG SINCE RECOGNIZED THE FOLLY OF ONE-HANDED, BACKHANDED, AND ALL OTHER KINDS OF DISGUSTED EFFORTS. WHEN IT MATTERED AT ALL WHETHER OR NOT THE NEXT STROKE WENT IN, NO MATTER HOW SHORT THE PUTT MIGHT HAVE BEEN, IT RECEIVED FROM ME AS CLOSE ATTENTION AS I WAS ABLE TO GIVE. I ALWAYS TOOK A STANCE AND ADDRESS, EVEN WHEN THE BALL WAS LYING AT THE VERY EDGE OF THE HOLE.

“I SHALL NEVER FORGET MY FEELING AS I PREPARED TO HOLE MY LAST PUTT AT SCIOTO, IN COLUMBUS, OHIO, TO WIN THE UNITED STATES OPEN IN 1926. THE THING COULD NOT HAVE BEEN OVER THREE INCHES IN LENGTH. YET, AS I STEPPED UP TO TAP IT IN, THE WILDEST THOUGHT STRUCK ME, “WHAT IF I SHOULD STUB MY PUTTER INTO THE TURF AND FAIL TO MOVE THE BALL?” I VERY CAREFULLY ADDRESSED THE PUTT WITH MY PUTTER BLADE OFF THE TURF AND HALF-TOPPED THE BALL INTO THE HOLE. SOUNDS A BIT PSYCHO, DOESN’T IT? BUT GOLFERS CAN GET THAT WAY.”

…FROM A NIGHTMARE BEFORE THE U.S. OPEN….NO, THAT’S FROM BOBBY JONES ON GOLF, A COLLECTION THAT JUST GETS BETTER WITH EACH SUCCESSIVE READING, LIKE SO MANY CLASSIC HOLIDAY FAVORITES.

Stalking Points Memo

No. 1 “Does chewing gum make you fat? (and 5 other theories)

The question was recently posed by the Guardian. Not so concerned with gum-related calories, years ago I’d stumbled upon and wrote about research highlighting another of the posited theories, notably awareness and even heightened intelligence through chewing. The article repeated findings long confirmed, if still not especially well-publicized.

Brain scans found that chewing gum activated the hippocampus (the part responsible for memory) – a finding that was corroborated elsewhere. Scientists have also found that it can improve alertness and even reduce stress.

Not only do I walk and chew gum, I walk fairways often exercising the old hippocampus in hopes of engaging the old bean. Often, sadly, I forget having stowed a stick in the back pocket of my baseball pants where, caught up in the action, it invariably gathers dirt, melts into the paper, goes stale and takes a pounding through the washer. Perhaps the dosage needs reconsidering. http://www.theguardian.com/news/reality-check

No. 2: Nuts to you!

The news cycle hardly gave this a filament’s notice but those of you well known to grocery store security cameras for what is decorously referred to as “snacking” (and will someday, once elected, become a Class C misdemeanor) will no doubt have noticed the most recent excitement among nutters. My friends hadn’t heard so here is a brief of Jane Brody’s assessment from her “Personal Health” column in the New York Times, entitled “Snacking Your Way to Better Health.”

The more often nuts were consumed, the less likely participants were to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease, and not because nut eaters succumbed to other diseases. Their death rate from any cause was lower during the years they were followed. (The nuts in question were pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts and walnuts.)

Those who ate nuts seven or more times a week were 20 percent less likely to die from 1980 to 2010; even among those who consumed nuts less often than once a week, the death rate was 11 percent lower than for those who did not eat them.

I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t nuts fattening? Yes, an ounce of nuts has 160 to 200 calories, nearly 80 percent from fat.

But in study after study, the more often people ate nuts, the leaner they tended to be.

Oh, Superman!

Oh, Superman!

 No. 3 “…basically worse than pet food.”

A minor league baseball trainer of my acquaintance was hardly surprised to learn that basketball great Dwight Howard was snacking his way to horrible health, abusing himself with a regular infusion of junk. He appears to have been the only one surprised at his declining performance. With any luck his agent is now on the phone seeking a Hershey’s endorsement, although Howard and the Lakers team appears on their way to turning a corner, if not their record.

From CBS News:

It turned out that Howard was consuming the equivalent of 24 Hershey bars a day in the form of candy and soda — not to mention the additional sugar his body was making out of all the empty starches he was eating.

We knew Dwight had a sugar-intake issue,” said Luke Shanahan [co-author of Deep Nutrition] whose Masters in Fine Arts from the world-renowned Iowa Writers Workshop has served him well in his role as the program’s architect and co-pilot. “We just didn’t know how bad it was.”

It was bad. At [Napa Valley doctor and nutritionist] Cate Shanahan’s request, Howard had undergone a blood screening that revealed a frighteningly pathological profile. His glucose readings were through the roof, much higher than they should have been for a ripped, 27-year-old professional athlete who used to call himself Superman.

On working with the Lakers: “We’re making the shift from basically worse than pet food to actual food,” Cate Shanahan said. “We’re a country running on empty sugar, processed foods and vegetable oils,” Luke Shanahan said. “… The first step is to get vegetable oils out of your life and replace empty starches with nutrient-dense food.” From: Nutrition in the NBA: Part I: Lessons learned in L.A. help Howard’s career http://www.cbssports.com/nba/writer/ken-berger/24370416

 No. 4: Jimi Hendrix “Starting at Zero”

"While I'm playing I don't think about it. I just lay out there and jam."

“While I’m playing I don’t think about it. I just lay out there and jam.”

An intimidating, remote figure, it was a most pleasant surprise to bump into an introspective Jimi Hendrix. Here he reflects on some of his earliest, private moments. It made for astonishing reading. To think one so self-assured on stage once had to hide behind the curtain while performing.

I remember my first gig was at an armoury, a National Guard place, and we earned 35 cents apiece and three hamburgers. It was so hard for me at first. I knew about three songs, and when it was time for us to play onstage I was all shaky, so I had to play behind the curtains. I just couldn’t get up in front. And then you get so very discouraged. You hear different bands playing around you, and the guitar player always seems like he’s so much better than you are. Most people give up at this point, but it’s best not to. Just keep on, just keep on. Sometimes you are going to be so frustrated you’ll hate the guitar, but all of this is just a part of learning. If you stick with it you’re going to be rewarded. If you’re very stubborn you can make it.

On, for want of a better word, we’ll call the Zone:

You see, onstage I forget everything, even the pain. Look at my thumb – how ugly it’s become. While I’m playing I don’t think about it. I just lay out there and jam. You get into such a pitch sometimes that you go up into another thing. You don’t forget about the audience, but you forget about all the paranoia, that thing where you’re saying: “Oh gosh, I’m onstage – what am I going to do now?” Then you go into this other thing, and it turns out to be almost like a play in certain ways. I have to hold myself back sometimes because I get so excited – no, not excited, involved.

Not excited, involved. Beautiful.

From: “Starting at Zero: His Own Story,” http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/dec/08/jimi-hendrix-in-his-own-words