Golf Digress

Physically cultured commentary on Sport and Wellness

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“The sky is the limit. Really.”

quill penFrom Actual Craigslist Writing/Editing ads:

F.A.Q.

“Does it pay?”

– No, But there is potential down the line. That being said, you are getting in on the ground floor by joining now. The sky is the limit.”

TRANSLATION: Potential? Check. Ground floor? Check. Only limited by the sky? Check. Cliches? Check. No pay? Check and mate.

And this:

“Value to you: Being a part of something amazing from its launch/inception through its international growth. As we grow, your opportunities and recognition will grow.”

TRANSLATION: Value? Who said anything about value? There is no value. Plenty of “potential.” And “international growth.” And, “as we grow:” recognition. Amazing. And don’t forget “opportunities.” But value? No, no value.

And this:

“In the beginning I won’t have the ability to pay you for your writing, however if we work well together I promise that this will become a paying gig within as short a timeframe as I can manage. I do value your time and your talent. I will also try and become a helpful resource for you for finding other paying writing jobs, as you can use me as your reference and portfolio.”

TRANSLATION: In the beginning, God created “helpful  resources” like references and portfolios. Thousands of years later the minimum wage is still controversial. God certainly values your time and talent, so enjoy a piece of this delicious helpful resource while you wait. God will get back to you “within as short a time-frame as I can manage.” God out.

And this:

“Unfortunately, this is not a paid gig. I know you’re thinking that sucks and I’m aware that it does. I wrote for free for years before I got a paid gig. But I promise you will have your work put on the site if it’s up to snuff, and I will work with you to make it the best it can possibly be. Also, if and when the site becomes profitable and I do hire permanent staff I will be choosing from the pool of people who have already worked with me so this could be an opportunity.”

TRANSLATION: Unfortunately, I will work with you to make sure you don’t get paid.

The Magical Contents of Abe Saperstein’s Suitcase

The Hawk as a young Trotter, c. 1966.

The Hawk as a young Trotter, c. 1966.

Those “Magicians of Basketball,” the Harlem Globetrotters are in town. Two nights. The occasion sent me, once a card carrying fan club member, to a 1966 program. (You got team photos and a red flexi disc, 45, of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” which worked. England, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy, Lebanon, Isreal, Greece and Turkey were on the itinerary. “The Hawk,” Connie Hawkins was once a Trotter, and part of this 40th anniversary team of “standard bearers.”

He’s posed kneeling in the player introductions between Meadowlark Lemon and J.C. Gipson, “Here’s one of basketball’s wonders,” the liner notes inform. “Breaking all Trotters scoring records. Did likewise the season and a half of recent American Basketball League with Pittsburgh Rens. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he left University of Iowa after freshman year.”

Owner Abe Saperstein shares personal travel tips “by one who should know.”

The contents of his suitcase, for some reason, are also featured.

“Abe says the majority of the boys on the team prefer to carry their personal wardrobes in a garment carrier type of bag.

Meadowlark, "Fred" Neil, J.C. Gipson and Hubert Ausbie, who trailed only The Big O and Elgin Baylor in collegiate scoring, were '66 "standard bearers" for the Globetrotters.

Meadowlark, “Fred” Neil, J.C. Gipson and Hubert Ausbie, who trailed only The Big O and Elgin Baylor in collegiate scoring, were ’66 “standard bearers” for the Globetrotters.

He asks them to take no more than 40 pounds of personal luggage. They carry their essential toilet articles and extras in an air lines bag or something comparable.

“Abe himself prefers a suitcase. He has a two-suiter that he uses whether it’s a one-week trip or a month or more. He does his own packing according to such a well established formulaa that he can walk in his hotel room in the dark and find any article he looks for.

“The usual contents of his suitcase for a European or far eastern junket (31 countries, 60,000 miles) are:

A black cashmere or mohair suit

2 pairs of black slacks

4 colored silk sports shirts with short sleeves

A pair of swim trunks

16 handkerchiefs

A pair of tan shoes

8 ties

8 Dacron shirts

1 sports jacket

An extra belt

4 Dacron shorts and tops

2 pairs pajamas

12 pairs black sox

A set of suspenders and brown and black shoe laces

A case containing medicines, drugs, shaving equipment, tooth paste, brushes, colognes, soap, and laundry powder.

“His answer to problems of replacement is that it’s usually possible to replace essential items. If the laundry service is poor or delayed he suggests asking a hotel chambermaid to do your personal laundry – you’ll probably find the rate not bad and the service speedy.”

That’s Golf! Giant cod edition

"I've been the golf pro here for 20 years," head pro Peter Evans told The Sun, "and never seen anything like it.’"

“I’ve been the golf pro here for 20 years,” head pro Peter Evans told The Sun, “and never seen anything like it.’”

That’s Golf! Script January 19, 2014  SportsTalk AM 1300 The Zone, Austin, TX

HERE’S A FISH STORY. THE HEADLINE: “GIANT 12 LB FISH WASHED UP ONTO SEASIDE GOLF COURSE BY MASSIVE WAVES.” THIS IN WALES. A MAGICAL PLACE, PORTHCAWL. THE MAIL HAD THE STORY.

A BIG COD. THEY DIDN’T WEIGH IT BUT IT LOOKED LIKE ABOUT 12 POUNDS. ROYAL PORTHCAWL, A WONDERFUL, HISTORIC COURSE. AS IT HAPPENS THE MEN’S ENTRANCE IS ON ONE SIDE OF THE CLUB, THE FRONT. THE WOMEN’S ENTRANCE IS AROUND THE BACK, AND THE COMMON AREA IS IN THE MIDDLE. I ACTUALLY HAD LUNCH WITH A GROUP OF MEN IN THE LADIES LOUNGE, FOR SOME REASON.

THE GIANT COD APPEARED ON THE THIRD GREEN. SAID PRO PETER EVANS:  “The tide came over onto the fairway of the third hole. We went to clear up and saw this huge fish lying there. It was a decent size – we didn’t weigh it, but it looked over 12lbs. I’ve been the golf pro here for 20 years and never seen anything like it.’ THEY HELD A WALKER CUP AT PORTHCAWL, ONE OF MY FAVORITE COURSES. AS THE U.S. RYDER CUP TEAM AT CELTIC MANOR LEARNED, WELSH WEATHER IS NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH.

…DID YOU SEE THE COMMENT EARLIER IN THE WEEK FROM PHIL MICKELSON?

“I can’t recall,” SAID PHIL, “the last time I had a round without a birdie.”  He’s in the United Arab Emirates. HIS LACKLUSTER 70 WAS FOLLOWED BY A SPARKLING 63. HE FINISHED TIED FOR SECOND WITH RORY MCILORY A SHOT BACK. “But,” HE ADDED OF THAT ROUND WITHOUT A BIRDIE, “didn’t make a bogey there until the last.”

I’M SURE 26 MILLION AMERICAN GOLFERS CAN EASILY RECALL THE LAST ROUND THEY HAD WITHOUT A BIRDIE WITHOUT MUCH DIFFICULTY.

THIS WEEK WE ALSO LEARN THAT 2013 MARKED THE EIGHTH STRAIGHT YEAR THAT MORE COURSES CLOSED IN THE U.S. THAN OPENED. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL GOLF FOUNDATION THAT DOES THE MATH, 66 PERCENT OF THE CLOSINGS WERE COURSES WITH GREEN FEES BELOW $40.

…ON THAT HAPPY NOTE, GOOD MORNING. THE ENDEAVOR IS TO ENHANCE OUR UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF GOLF….

APPARENTLY, IT’S AWARDS SEASON. QUICK THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR THE WRITE-IN VOTES IN THE RECENT AUSTIN CHRONICLE POLL. I AM A LITTLE PERPLEXED, HOWEVER, WITH THE NOMINATION FOR BEST NEW RAP/HIP HOP ARTIST. I WAS LEANING  MORE TOWARDS “AVANT GARDE/EXPERIMENTAL.” NEVERTHELESS…

…YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW THAT ‘THAT’S GOLF’ WILL NEVER COLLECT, TRACK, MINE OR HACK YOUR GOLF META-DATA. YOUR GAME IS YOUR OWN PROBLEM. THAT FOUR-PUTT IS NOT BEING ANALYZED HERE IN THE SOPHISTICATED SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES BY A TEAM OF COMPUTER NERDS. (BUT HONESTLY, IF YOU DON’T MIND MY SAYING: IS THAT REALLY WHAT YOU’RE HAVING FOR BREAKFAST??? AND, FOR GOD’S SAKES, PUT ON SOME PANTS. AND…THERE’S SOMETHING ON YOUR CHIN. YOU MIGHT WANT TO WIPE THAT UP. THAT’S IT. MUCH BETTER.)

I’M GLAD YOU COULD MAKE IT.

HERE’S SOME OF THE TOPICS WE WON’T BE DISCUSSING THIS HOUR: DENNIS RODMAN, BENGHAZI, PAINFUL ITCHING AND SCRATCHING, AND FOURTH-QUARTER HOUSING STARTS.

OUR INSPIRATIONAL TEXT COMES FROM THE BOOK, “CONSCIOUS GOLF,” THE THREE SECRETS OF SUCCESS IN BUSINESS, LIFE AND GOLF.

THE AUTHOR, DR. GAY HENDRICKS, HAS A PH D IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY FROM STANFORD, AND HAS WRITTEN MORE THAN 30 BOOKS, INCLUDING TWO WE’LL TALK ABOUT WITH HIM NEXT SEGMENT. NEVER TOO SOON IN THIS NEW YEAR TO DELVE BETWEEN THE EARS.

HE WRITES:

WHEN I WAS FIRST STUDYING BREATHING IN THE EARLY 1970S, I RAN AN EXPERIMENT WITH A GROUP OF SIXTH GRADE GIRLS WHO WERE PLAYING BASKETBALL IN GYM CLASS. WE LET ONE GROUP SHOOT FOUL SHOTS WHILE A SECOND GROUP SAT WITH THEIR EYES CLOSED. INSTEAD OF ACTUALLY SHOOTING BASKETS, THIS SECOND GROUP REPEATED THE FOLLOWING MIND-BODY SEQUENCE: TAKE A DEEP BREATH, AND VISUALIZE

A SUCCESSFUL FOUL SHOT. AFTER TWENTY MINUTES, WE HAD EACH GIRL IN THE CLASS TO THE FOUL LINE AND SHOOT TEN SHOTS IN A ROW. THE BREATH-VISUALIZATION GROUP GREATLY OUTPERFORMED THE GROUP THAT HAD BEEN ACTUALLY SHOOTING BASKETS. THE GIRLS ON THE COURT WERE AMAZED, AS WAS THEIR PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER, BUT IT WAS THE EXPERIMENTERS WHO WERE REALLY THRILLED. THIS LITTLE EXPERIMENT LET ME KNOW THAT MIND/BODY SKILLS LIKE CONSCIOUS BREATHING AND MENTAL IMAGERY COULD BE OF BENEFIT TO PEOPLE WITH MINIMAL ATHLETIC SKILL.

AND THANK GOODNESS, BECAUSE ALTHOUGH I AM ENTHUSIASTIC, I AM DEFINITELY IN THE UNNATURAL RATHER THAN NATURAL ATHLETE CATEGORY. AS MY GOLF TEACHER SAID UPON OBSERVING ME FOR THE FIRST TIME: I DON’T KNOW IF THERE’S SUCH A THING AS A NATURAL GOLF SWING, BUT IF THERE IS, YOU DEFINITELY HAVEN’T GOT IT. SO PLEASE DO NOT THINK YOU NEED TO BE A WORLD-CLASS ATHLETE TO BENEFIT FROM CONSCIOUS BREATHING.

…DR. HENDRICKS FROM “CONSCIOUS BREATHING.” WE’LL TALK ABOUT IT NEXT SEGMENT.

PLEASE DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH UNTIL THEN – CONSCIOUSLY OR UNCONSCIOUSLY.

Stalking Points Memo: Lindsey Vonn, vegan marathoners, Med diet strikes again

#1 “Serious patience”                           Lindsey

From Details Magazine:

“Golf is different. You need to have serious patience. It’s like a long chess match. To be honest, before Tiger, I probably wouldn’t have said    that I didn’t understand the sport very well. But now, even standing there as a spectator, it’s brutal. Four days of extreme mental pressure. You’re grinding, you’re working, you’re fighting. That’s the same in my sport – but mine only takes two minutes.” Lindsey Vonn

#2 “Gatorade Mobile Game Referred to Water as ‘the Enemy’ ”

From ABC News:

“The campaign, which ran most of last year, featured a mobile game app called Bolt!, starring Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt. Gamers navigated a Bolt avatar going through an obstacle course and picking up bottles of Gatorade along the way to make him go faster and avoiding drops of water that would make him go slower.

“Nancy Huehnergarth, a food activist and blogger for civileats.com, stumbled across a short video describing the game and marketing campaign on Interactive Advertising Bureau’s website, where it had won an IAB Mixx award for mobile marketing.

“Huehnergarth said when she first saw the video, her jaw dropped.

“The video said the goal of the game was to ‘drive home the message that Gatorade is better than water.’ That was just unbelievable to me,” she said. …

“Michael Jacobson, the executive director of the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, said he also thought the marketing campaign was misleading.

I think the basic strategy is to make people think they will become better athletes if they drink Gatorade, but the average consumer’s health and wallet would be better off if they stuck with water. …

AND:

“Water is by far the best way to replenish fluids in the body after exercise as long as you’re not doing a long workout under extreme conditions like very hot weather,” said Felicia Stoler, who is a fellow at the American College of Sports Medicine, as well as a registered dietitian. “For the average person who is doing an average workout, water is the best choice.”

Gatorade better than this???

Gatorade better than this???

#3 Thirty bananas a day!

From: The Telegraph: “Vegans powered by raw food complete year of daily marathons”

“A couple in their 60s have finished running a marathon each day, every day, for the past year. The pair ate up to 30 bananas each a day as they completed a trek of almost 10,000 miles around Australia. The couple, both raw vegans from New Zealand, ended their journey with an extra marathon to their home in Melbourne at 5am on New Year’s Day to set the world record.

“Janette Murray-Wakelin, 64, and Alan Murray, 68, rose at 4 am each day and ran 366 consecutive marathons with no days off, covering almost 10,000 miles as they ran around the Australia mainland and the island state of Tasmania. …

“The couple’s standard day involved rising at 4am and eating 10 bananas, a grapefruit, and a date smoothie for breakfast, then another 10 bananas at 8am, a green smoothie at 9am, a fruit salad at the 19-mile mark, three oranges at the 23-mile mark, before finishing at 4pm and eating an avocado, vegetable juice and a salad for dinner.

Memo to marathoners: don't slip on discarded peels.

Memo to marathoners: don’t slip on discarded peels.

From their site runningrawaroundaustralia.com: “Our typical daily menu may include:

* On rising and before a short (15km) training run: 10oz pure spring water, 1 banana

* Breakfast and after short run: Green smoothie (fruit, greens & water), 5+ bananas

* Lunch: Either 20+ mandarines, 10+ oranges, 1 melon, 1 pineapple, 5+ bananas and/or other fruits

*Dinner: Either a large green salad with savoury fruits; tomato, cucumber, courgette, capsicum etc. or a large fruit smoothie, or 1 large fruit such as a melon, papaya, pineapple etc.

* Snacks: Any fruit or a freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice
Before a long (15+km) training run: 20oz water, 10oz fruit smoothie, 2-5 bananas

During a long (20+km) training run: water, dates

After a long (20+km) run: Breakfast plus extra fruit especially bananas

#4  “Mediterranean Diet Alone May Lower Diabetes Risk”

From: Web MD:

Adults at risk for heart disease who eat a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil can lower their chances of developing diabetes, even without restricting calories or boosting exercise, new research suggests.

In the study, Spanish researchers followed more than 3,500 older adults at high risk of heart disease. The researchers assigned them to one of three groups: a Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a low-fat diet, which served as the comparison. They did not get special instructions on losing weight or increasing their physical activity.

A Mediterranean diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, besides the olive oil. Those in the nut group were allowed about an ounce a day of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. Those in the olive oil group were allowed a little more than three tablespoons daily.

The researchers followed the men and women, aged 55 to 80, for about four years, between 2003 and 2010. During the follow-up, 80 in the olive oil group developed type 2 diabetes, while 92 in the nuts group and 101 in the comparison diet group did.

After adjusting for other factors affecting diabetes risk, the researchers found those in the olive oil group reduced diabetes risk by about 40 percent compared to the comparison diet group. Those in the nuts group reduced risk by 18 percent, which was not statistically significant.

The new research, published online Jan. 7 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is good news, said Dr. Christine Laine, editor-in-chief of the journal and an associate professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

The study “suggests it is possible to reduce the risk of diabetes by changing the composition of your diet. It is another piece of evidence that the Mediterranean diet has health benefits,” said Laine, who was not involved in the research.

She hopes the findings don’t discourage people from diet and exercise. Excess weight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, she said, and diet and exercise can help control weight. Adding diet and exercise to the Mediterranean diet could theoretically reduce the diabetes risk even more, she noted.

Everything?!

The world according to GolfNow.Com (“GolfNow.com tees off on expanded push to transform clubhouse experience,” Michael Smith, Street & Smith’s Sportsbusiness Journal, January 6-12, 2014):

”The golfer will drop off clubs and be greeted at the curb by a course employee with an iPad. If the golfer hasn’t paid yet, he will be able to swipe a credit card with the iPad. The golfer is checked in there – no need to to into the pro shop or carry the receipt out to the starter. With a card on file, the golfer can buy food and beverage on the course without cash and buy merchandise in the golf shop. Through all of these activities, the software will develop a profile of the golfer for the course operators.”

"This round is too important to allow you to jeopardize it with your puny action. Sorry, Dave."

“This round is too important to allow you to jeopardize it with your puny action. Sorry, Dave.”

They’ll know everything from what kind of beer you like to what kind of ball you play, said Jeff Foster, senior vice president of GolfNow.com new media.

Christie: “To use the vernacular, the ball was on the tee.”

THAT’S GOLF! JANUARY 12, 2014     Script, SportsTalk AM 1300 The Zone, Austin

GOLF IS, ARGUABLY, I’LL GRANT YOU, ONE OF THE MINOR SPORTS. BUT, AS I’VE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, IT HAS SEEPED INTO SOCIETY IN INTERESTING WAYS, INTO THE LANGUAGE, FOR INSTANCE, AND INTO THE CONSCIOUSNESS AND CULTURE. AND OF ALL THINGS WE GOT ANOTHER EXAMPLE THIS WEEK – FROM NO LESS THAN THE CENTERPIECE OF THE BIGGEST NEWS STORY OF THE WEEK.

I HAPPENED TO LISTEN JUST LONG ENOUGH TO NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE’S MARATHON PRESS CONFERENCE, FOLLOWING THE BUSINESS OVER THAT MARATHON TRAFFIC JAM – ONE IN WHICH MY MOTHER AND SISTER, IT TURNS OUT, WERE STUCK IN. AND GOV. CHRISTIE SAID THESE EXACT WORDS: QUOTE: “TO USE THE VERNACULAR, THE BALL WAS ON THE TEE.”

Teed up, or off? And now out. A bit of oratorical golf foozling from the New Jersey governor, ready to scramble.

Teed up, or off? . A bit of easily-overlooked oratorical golf foozling from the New Jersey governor, ready to scramble.

DON’T KNOW IF HE PLAYS GOLF, BUT HE OBVIOUSLY KNEW ENOUGH ABOUT THIS USEFUL PHRASE OF THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GAME TO ENLIST IT IN HELPING DIG HIMSELF OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE. FUNNY HOW GOLF FINDS ITS WAY INTO THE LARGER CONTEXT.

…GOOD MORNING.

IT’S THAT’S GOLF! NEVER A  COVER CHARGE. HALF PRICE DANCES… NO, YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE ME DANCE. …ANOTHER DISEMBODIED YANKEE VOICE ASSAULTING YOUR SENSES THROUGH THE RADIO.

THE HOUR’S ENDEAVOR IS TO ENHANCE OUR APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOLF. YOUR HOST, SHAG BOY, AND SCRIBE: 5’ 9” 150, 16-YEAR, LIFETIME  CATAMOUNT, THROWS RIGHT, BATS RIGHT. STILL PLAGUED BY THAT NAGGING GROIN STRAIN. AS DUANE THOMAS ONCE NOTED, WE’RE ALL DAY-TO-DAY.

WE EXTEND A VICARIOUS WELCOME AGAIN TO THE CONGENIAL SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES.

OUR TOPIC: THE GAME THAT – EVENTUALLY – ENDS… WITH A TAP-IN.

THIS IS, ODDLY ENOUGH, THE LONGEST-RUNNING GOLF RADIO SHOW IN THE STATE. THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR TUNING IN. WE’RE CLOTHING OPTIONAL. ALL WE ASK IS THAT WHATEVER IT IS, PLEASE JUST KEEP IT ON.

IF THE NAME OF THE PROGRAM CONFUSES YOU – I REALIZE IT’S EARLY – HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: WE TALK ABOUT THE GAME OF GOLF’S MANY FAUCETS, ALL OF THEM TURNED ON.

AND HERE’S JUST THE SORT OF HELPFUL HINT THAT WE PASS ALONG KNOWING THAT NO ONE WILL EVER TRY IT. BUT SINCE IT COMES FROM THE ONLY BOOK I KNOW OF THAT FEATURES A MAN SHINING A SHOE WITH A BANANA ON THE COVER, I FELT IT WORTHWHILE TO PASS ALONG. PERHAPS YOU’RE STILL IN A RESOLUTION, GET-THINGS-DONE FRAME OF MIND.

THE SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, “HALEY’S CLEANING HINTS” BY GRAHAM AND ROSEMARY HALEY. IT’S ALSO THE ONLY BOOK I CAN RECALL WHICH SUGGESTS THAT A PAIR OF MEN’S OLD COTTON UNDERWEAR MAKES A GREAT LINT-FREE DUST CLOTH. NOT SOMETHING, I CONFESS, I’VE EVER CONSIDERED.

BUT, FOR OUR PURPOSES, THE HALEYS OFFER THIS TIP FOR WHAT THEY PROMISE  “GLEAMING GOLF BALLS:”

IT’S A RECIPE. MIX A SOLUTION OF A GALLON OF WATER WITH ONE CUP AMMONIA. LEAVE YOUR GOLF BALLS IN THE SOLUTION OVERNIGHT.

TRY NOT TO KICK THE BUCKET EN ROUTE TO THE BATHROOM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. OR ANYTIME. I’M GUESSING YOU DON’T WANT TO SPEND TOO MUCH TIME INHALING THE CONCOCTION….THOSE ARE JUST MY OWN HINTS.

A GALLON OF WATER, A CUP OF AMMONIA, DEPOSIT YOUR GRIMY GOLF BALLS, AND IN THE MORNING: GLEAMING GOLF BALLS.

…JUST THE KIND OF TIP YOU WON’T GET FROM THE LAMESTREAM GOLF MEDIA.

TYPICALLY, SINCE OUR MOVE TO SUNDAY MORNINGS, WE TRADITIONALLY OPEN WITH A MESSAGE OF INSPIRATION.

OUR TEXT TODAY COMES FROM JACK BURKE JR., THE VENERABLE HOUSTON SAGE, A FORMER MASTERS AND PGA CHAMPION. HIS SUBJECT: “THE EYES OF OTHERS ARE UPON YOU.” I SUPPOSE, IN OUR CASE, IT IS LITERALLY THE EYES OF TEXAS.

THIS FROM HIS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CHRONICLE: “IT’S ONLY A GAME:”

“TO SUCCEED AT GOLF,” HE BEGINS, “YOU HAVE TO MASTER THE ART OF NOT BEING EMBARRASSED. YOU HAVE TO TAKE YOUR EGO OUT OF THE EQUATION AND JUST PLAY. IT’S INCREDIBLY HARD TO ERASE THOUGHTS OF HOW YOU’RE GOING TO BE PERCEIVED BY OTHERS, AND THE CHALLENGE NEVER CEASES. YOU THINK ARNOLD PALMER DOESN’T FEEL EMBARRASSED WHEN HE YIPS A FOUR-FOOT PUTT IN FRONT OF A BIG GALLERY? SURE HE DOES. HE MASTERED THE ART OF NOT BEING EMBARRASSED YEARS AGO, AND NOW HE’S LEARNING IT AGAIN.

FINDING THINGS THAT DON’T INTIMIDATE YOU IS A FULL-TIME JOB. MOST PEOPLE ARE AT LEAST A  BIT FRIGHTENED OF MANY THINGS. GOLF CAN BE INTIMIDATING. BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT ON. IF YOU DO THAT, YOU VERY SOON WON’T BE INTIMIDATED AT ALL. THERE IS ENOUGH TRULY SCARY STUFF GOING ON IN THE WORLD THAT NOTHING CONNECTED TO GOLF SHOULD BE.”

PLEASE BE SEATED.

“GOLF CAN BE INTIMIDATING, BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT ON.”

WORDS TO LIVE BY FROM JACK BURKE. ‘IT’S ONLY A GAME,’ WORDS OF WISDOM FROM A LIFETIME IN GOLF.

Al Geiberger’s sensational sixth tip?

Al Geiberger's sensational sixth tip is SKIPPY!

Al Geiberger’s sensational sixth tip is SKIPPY!

A touch of recent rainy weather conjured up a memory. Al Geiberger was playing in the Legends of Golf here in Austin. His son, Brent, would follow him onto the tour. This day Brent was caddying for his old man. They had a cart but I remember ‘Skippy’ pointedly telling Brent to get the rain gear ready and keep in handy at a moment’s notice. It stuck, I guess, because I sensed an exchange of tour wisdom from father to son. (I didn’t realize Brent would win two events, Hartford and Greensboro, but shouldn’t be surprised. His dad played on two Ryder Cup teams and won a bunch, 11, including several big tournaments.)

Cleaning, the next day the above ad appeared in an envelope about to be tossed. The 1966 PGA Champion, later known as ‘Mr. 59,’ got a Skippy Peanut Butter endorsement back when there wasn’t much for pro golfers, or to any professional athletes, for that matter. I honestly don’t remember the ads, nor do I suspect they would have made much of a difference, not that I was the intended audience. Years later I did later watch those goofy Sybervision tapes that detailed Skippy’s silky swing in slow-mo.

Of course, Skippy was ever-present. Later, during those annual brief stops in Austin, when things weren’t nearly as severe with senior golf as they seem today, Al took the nickname in  stride. As he says here: “Skippy Peanut Butter is great for quick energy. And I prefer Skippy because it’s got more peanut flavor.” You tell him, Skippy.

Given the continued preference for PB&J among the triathlete and century-cycling crowd, Al was clearly ahead of his time.

Al’s Five “Fabulous Golf Tips to Help Lower Your Score:”

1)     Slow your swing down – Think of swinging easy during the entire backswing and most of the down-swing, and use your speed in the hitting area. A fast backswing means a slow hitting area.

2)     Use your body more – Think of your body as the main source of power. Use a good turn of the body and shoulders throughout the entire swing.

3)     Putting – Try striking the ball on a downward stroke. This will keep you from coming up off the putt and allow you to strike the ball much more solidly.

4)     Improve your balance – If your balance is bad try straightening up your back a little and crouching in the legs instead.

5)     Tip to the beginner – Learn the fundamentals from a qualified professional instead of teaching yourself and forming bad habits.

The Smooth SwingMaker (Patent Pending)

"Ladies and gentlemen, more crippling advice over the centuries of introspection, devotion, and dissection of the golf swing would be hard to find." The Smooth SwingMaker.

“Ladies and gentlemen, more crippling advice over the centuries of introspection, devotion, and dissection of the golf swing would be hard to find.” The Smooth SwingMaker.

Please direct your attention to the accompanying photo. Seems harmless enough, by all appearances a box containing an innocuous golf practice aid, one of any number of thousands. There is the ubiquitous caption in capital letters promising a lower score – with exclamation point! You’ll note the golfer is either smiling or grimacing. This is not unusual in the course of swinging a club by novice or expert. In this case what I take for a grimace is expressed with good reason. Take heed: the man has fallen under the spell. The reader may also wonder why the golfer is apparently hitting away from the green so near in the foreground. This can also be explained.

The product is The Smooth SwingMaker. Insidious, really, the only word for it, but one has to admire the simplicity, the ingenuity.  An attractive cardboard box that could contain a Happy Meal holds pure poison. If only I could remember who to thank for the introduction. It is no longer on the market. The words “patent pending” appear in the lower right-hand corner. These words should always prompt pause, if not suspicion.

In the spirit of inquiry, this post is presented as a cautionary tale. We approach The Smooth SwingMaker wearing the protective gear of experience. Were there proper oversight of the golf practice aid market, akin to, say, the precautions taken with research of chemical or biological agents – that could in the wrong hands pose a danger – products like The Smooth SwingMaker would never be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. I believe it stands alone.

A golf life is littered with practice aids, catnip to the struggling. Occasionally they “work,” whatever that may mean. In time immunity can be developed but there is no effective inoculation. The author can reflect on the efficacy of two aids:  the impact bag and the weighted club. Both sit unused in the closet. A flash of success will emit a temporary positive impulse within the brain’s recesses where reality nestles beside illusion.

The number of available products is impressive, testament to Man’s inventive, impatient quest. Many aids, no doubt well intentioned, are ridiculous, often miraculously so. Patent drawings detail spikes, harnesses, or other unfortunate belts and buckles. The unwitting current reliance on technology feeds the category.

Practice aids of one sort or another have long been enlisted to teach golf. Video is now ubiquitous but the best teachers rely on everyday items. The most effective aids, arguably, may be the least sophisticated: a two-by-four, a tee, a bucket. My alignment woes were once (temporarily) solved in a mall parking lot astride a painted parking space strip.

One successful instructor can’t visit the giant hardware store without seeing dozens of potential teaching aids. The concept is sound. The objective is to help the student “see” the inherent awkward universe of the golf swing. This can often be done with a tool meant for some other purpose. Harvey Penick’s grass whip may be the most famous example. Once common to tool sheds, the grass whip is now perhaps as familiar to most Americans as a scythe, if no less effective an aid.

The Smooth SwingMaker carried a suggested retail price of $12.95. Again, we highlight those two dangerous words: ‘patent pending.’

"Attach the square piece of Velcro to the center of he visor as close to the front as possible."

“Attach the square piece of Velcro to the center of he visor as close to the front as possible.”

Inside the box is a booklet, three plastic perforated golf balls, and two small white plastic cups. One cup has a string attached. At the end of the short string is a ball. Those of a certain age may recall an ancient wooden toy in which children, or adults, would try and scoop the ball through the air into the cup. This gets to the core of The Smooth SwingMaker’s genius, simplicity.

The adept attaches the cup with the ball on the bill of their ball cap. There’s a piece of Velcro to secure it. He then places the ball into the cup on the cap, and swings. The objective is to keep the ball in the cup as one does so. This keeps the head still, which every golfer – and those who have never played – has heard about, a canard often taken on face value. As the booklet points out: “If your swing has flaws, the ball flys (sp) from the cup.”

There are 10 pages of illustrated instructions with an order blank in the back.

I’m hesitant to quote too liberally from the instructions, but let me just offer a representative sample.

The SwingMaker improves your game in two basic ways. First, with regular practice it helps you with two important fundamentals: keeping your head down and still and encouraging you to move your body in a coordinated, fluid motion. I fyou don’t do these things, the ball will fly from the cup. For example, if you swing too hard, the ball will likely “swirl” inside the cup and pop out. If your swing is smooth, it won’t.

Ladies and gentlemen, more crippling advice over the centuries of introspection, devotion, and dissection of the golf swing would be hard to find.

"If your swing has flaws, the ball flys (sp) from the cup." The author hereby absolves himself of any responsibility relating to the above statement.

“If your swing has flaws, the ball flys (sp) from the cup.” The author hereby absolves himself of any responsibility relating to the above statement.

“Your friends may laugh when they first see your Smooth SwingMaker,” begins the anonymous author, who we might refer to as Dr. Evil. There are two cups. I see now that they are slightly different, and interchangeable, one preferred for woods and irons, the other for shorter shots. “Practice will be the best teacher as to which cup to use when.”

…That’s enough. I can feel the pull, the Smooth SwingMaker’s allure…Must. Put. Back. In. Box. . . .Phew. That’s better. It would be professionally unethical to unleash such a horror. It must be kept from those seeking improvement.

You’ll remember the scene at the end of the Indiana Jones movie where the Arc of the Covenant is sealed and securely deposited in the burial ground of an enormous anonymous warehouse filled with similar crates? That would be my suggestion for the Smooth SwingMaker, the Pandora’s Box.

At the conclusion of this essay, this most dangerous device will be transported to the secure, climate-controlled vault of The Stark Center for Physical Culture at Sports at the University of Texas at Austin. Express instructions will prevent its indiscriminate use.

2014 Chalupa Chase preview: Davis eyes double

"You can hit it as long as you want," says the 2013 champion, "and they don’t give you points for hitting it close.” In his left hand, the pro holds the ceremonial Balander Driver.

“You can hit it as long as you want,” says the 2013 champion, “and they don’t give you points for hitting it close.” In his left hand, the Pro holds the ceremonial Balander Driver.

2014 Media Guide   First in a Series  Collect them all!

It’s in the Bag…2013 Chase for the Chalupa Champion “Mr.” Eddy Davis

It was a touch of Deja-vu all over again. Defending Chalupa Chase champion “Mr.” Eddy Davis came within a winter’s worst whisker of birdieing the first three holes of the season opener. A good start is key for Davis who stresses the importance of maintaining good karma. “It’s major league,” he said recently. “It sets the tone. I don’t know what I mean by that. I know it’s good.”

Talking tools with Golf Digress on the eve of his 51st birthday, the “Pro” threw down the gauntlet. “It’s all between me and the golf course,” he said. “Everybody’s going to be playing harder. Once you win the first one, everybody wants to win it, and you want to win it, too. You can’t get the hat trick unless you win the second one. If I can get 10 up on y’all, it’s over.”

Coy about tinkering, he mentioned improving his strength and hydration, adding: “I’m gonna change my body first before I change my equipment.” One club unlikely to change: his Scotty Cameron. “No sir. Joe [former Clay/Kizer Director of Golf Joe Balander] told me it was a pretty nice putter, good balance, good weight. He gave me a good deal. I bought two.” (Younger brother Warren has the other.)  2013 was, he offered, an “interesting year. It started off slow but picked up. I think my putting was good overall. You can hit it as long as you want, and they don’t give you points for hitting it close.”

DRIVER                                                                                                                                Cleveland 270 (10.5 degrees, 39 gram, regular Miyazaki shaft), two years and counting. “It just feels good.”

FAIRWAY WOOD                                                                                                           TaylorMade Rescue (21 degrees, 65 gram, Aldila regular RIP shaft. “For when I need to open up some ass-kicking anywhere from 175 to maybe 200, or, 150 out into a stiff wind. “

IRONS                                                                                                                                Cleveland CG1s, 5-PW, Regular flex, GAP 95 graphite shaft. “Curtis [CK club guru Curtis Short] gave me these. I was hitting Nike. I liked the way they looked, the way they feel. That’s the only thing to me – look and feel. The weight’s good, the shaft’s not too stiff, feels perfect.” Grips are Golf Pride Velvet: “real simple, not very fancy, just a clean grip.”

WEDGES                                                                                                                                   “Most of the shots are from 100 yards in. That’s the money. That’s the difference between birdie and par. In the Chase for the Chalupa, it’s all about the birdies.” He carries four: Cleveland CG1 PW (48 degrees), and three Pings, the Tour-S (56/12) and (52/12) and the PING Tour-W (54 degrees with 10 degrees of bounce). The 56 is the favorite. “The 60 is like the rescue club. That’s the one I get out of the garbage can with. But it’s limited in its yardage. Its good 50 yards [and] in.”

PUTTER                                                                                                                                    Scotty Cameron Napa, c. 1995, with a Winn mid-sized grip. It replaced an 8802. “Mr. [now Sir] Edward Boufford took that out of the bag. I was whupping his ass with it so he decided to take it back.” (Davis’s young son, Jaden, an aspiring golfer, has shown repeated interest in the Napa, now routinely sold online for upwards of $900.) “He’s not getting it.”

Karma Chameleon? Scotty Cameron Napa putter grip clearly in need of repair.

Chalupa1 002

BALLS                                                                                                                                      Titleist Pro V-1. “It just rolls really good. I like the way it feels.”

BALL MARKER                                                                                                                “Whatever I can find in my pocket.”

BAG                                                                                                                                          Titleist Sunday bag.

ACCESSORIES                                                                                                                     Bushnell Pro 1600. (What’s this, Pro? No barometric pressure or humidity readings?) “It gives me the yardage. That’s all I need. All the rest I figure out by feel.”

Wrigley’s Spearmint. “For concentration.”

That’s Golf! Annual Golf is not a Sport Rant

THAT’S GOLF! JAN 5, 2013 SCRIPT                                                                            SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE, AUSTIN, TX

GOLFERS LOVE A BARGAIN. IT GOES TO THE VERY FIBER OF THE OLD SCOTTISH GAME, OF COURSE, IN WHICH LESS IS MORE. THE LOWER THE SCORE, THE FEWER THE STROKES, THE BETTER – VERY DIFFERENT THAN OTHER GAMES.

WE KNOW THAT THE BALL RETRIEVER DATES BACK AT LEAST TO 1857, WHEN A CADDIE, OLD ALICK WAS IMMORTALIZED HOLDING THE TOOLS OF HIS TRADE, INCLUDING A NETTED BALL RETRIEVING STICK. HE’S DRESSED IN TOP HAT, AND LONG COAT. GOLF BALLS WERE MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE THAN NOW, HAND MADE. WHICH DOESN’T EXPLAIN WHY GOLFERS TODAY SQUIRREL GARBAGE CANS FULL OF BALLS. BUT, TO SAVE A BUCK, WE CAN REPLACE GRIPS RATHER THAN PURCHASE A NEW SET OF CLUBS.

THE GAME’S A GREAT VALUE, AND, THE GREAT THING ABOUT IT: NO MACHINES TO WIPE!

IN THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON, LET ME PASS ALONG TWO QUICK BARGAIN TIPS. I GOT A GREAT DEAL ON A CHRISTMAS TREE YESTERDAY. JUST SITTING THERE ON THE CURB. PERFECTLY GOOD, GREAT SHAPE, WITH A STAND AND EVERYTHING.

IF ONLY I HADN’T PROCRASTINATED. THE GOOD ONES WERE GONE EARLIER, BUT IT’S STILL A GREAT TREE.

AND, IF YOU LOOK CAREFULLY THERE ARE GREAT DEALS ON HOLIDAY CANDY. I FOUND BAGS OF CANDY CORN ON THE LOWER SHELF, IN THE BACK, AT THE DRUG STORE. MAYBE IT WAS FROM HALLOWEEN. DOES THAT REALLY MATTER? YOU JUST SPRINKLE ON SOME CINNAMON AND A LITTLE NUTMEG, HEAT ‘EM UP, AND PRESTO: INSTEAD OF CANDY CORN – you’ve got “CHRISTMAS” CORN. THE KIDS HARDLY KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

HONESTLY, WHO CAME UP WITH CANDY CORN? I’M GUESSING A DENTIST. THANK YOU. I’LL BE HERE UNTIL 9 O’CLOCK.

THE ENDEAVOR IS TO ENHANCE OUR APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOLF. WE’RE A PRESENTATION OF SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE, AND YOUR AUSTIN AREA CHURCH OF THE INVETERATE DUFFER. THIS IS THE LONGEST-RUNNING GOLF RADIO SHOW … ON THE WEST SIDE OF SOUTH CONGRESS AVENUE COVERING THE ENTIRE BOULDIN CREEK LISTENING AREA. THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR TUNING IN.

WE START, ODDLY ENOUGH, WITH FORMER PRO-BOWL DEFENSIVE BACK Nnamdi Asomugha. HE RECENTLY RETIRED. WHAT COULD THIS POSSIBLY HAVE TO DO WITH GOLF? GOLFERS ARE OCCASIONALLY CONFRONTED BY THOSE WHO THINK PRO GOLFERS ARE SOFT, THAT THEY AND THE GAME THE PROS PLAY IS SOMEHOW ‘LACKING’ COMPARED WITH OTHER ENDEAVORS LIKE THE NFL AND THE NBA.

(If you’ll forgive me, I roll out this rant once a year.)

WHEN SOMEONE MENTIONS THAT GOLF IS SOMEHOW NOT WORTHY, THINK OF Nnamdi Asomugha. THE TALENTED CORNER BACK WAS A TWO-TIME FIRST-TEAM ALL-PRO WITH THE RAIDERS. HE THEN SIGNED A $60M, five-year contract with the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. TWO YEARS LATER, HE WAS CUT. HE THEN PLAYED THREE GAMES WITH THE 49’ERS BEFORE BEING RELEASED IN NOVEMBER.

GOLF IS DIFFERENT. NO SPECIALISTS. EVERYONE HAS TO BE GOOD AT EVERY ASPECT OF THE GAME. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GUARANTEED MONEY, IN THE WAY IT’S DISPENSED IN OTHER PRO SPORTS. NO PRO LATE IN HIS CAREER IS ASSURED OF ANY MONEY DOWN THE ROAD.

GOLF, OF COURSE, IS A SOLITARY ENDEAVOR. NBA TEAMS HAVE A MINIMUM OF FIVE COACHES, COUNTING THE STRENGTH COACH, THE VIDEO COACH, THE DIRECTOR OF PLAYER PERSONNEL, THE TEAM MASSEUSE AND CHEF, AND A SCOUTING STAFF OF 10 GUYS WHO TRACK COLLEGE BALL, THE OTHER NBA TEAMS, AND INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS. WHO PICKS UP THE TAB? THE TEAM.

IN GOLF, OUTSIDE OF A FEW CELEBRATED EVENTS, THERE IS NO TEAM. EVERY PLAYER DOES IT HIS WAY – EATS HIS WAY, TRAINS HIS WAY, HE MAY HAVE A COACH, HE MAY NOT. NO ONE FINES HIM FOR MISSING PRACTICE. HE MAY PRACTICE YOGA OR WORK-OUT. IF HE DOESN’T, NO ONE SAYS A WORD. THE PLAYER IS RESPONSIBLE – FOR EVERYTHING. HIS WIFE, HIS CADDY, HIS AGENT, HIS DAD, HIS COACH (OR NOT). HE DECIDES. AND HE PAYS FOR IT, NOT SOME DEEP-POCKETED, DESPOT OWNER. HE EVEN PAYS TO COMPETE IN EACH EVENT. NOT MUCH, BUT THERE IS A PGA TOUR ENTRANCE FEE.

IT HARDLY NEEDS TO BE  MENTIONED, BUT I’LL GO AHEAD AND STATE THE OBVIOUS – THERE IS NO DESIGNATED HITTER IN GOLF. NO SUBSTITUTIONS. NO TIMEOUTS. IF YOU’RE NOT PLAYING, IF YOU’RE NOT IN THE GAME, YOU’RE NOT MAKING MONEY. THE CONCEPT OF GUARANTEED MOOLAH  TAKEN FOR GRANTED, AND RUINING MOST MAJOR SPORTS?

GOLF IS DIFFERENT. YOU CAN’T GO TO THE BENCH. YOU CAN’T DRAFT. YOU CAN’T SUBSTITUTE.

AND, A WORD ABOUT  COMPETITION… MOST WEEKS YOU’RE NOT JUST COMPETING AGAINST, SAY, PEYTON MANNING. IN GOLF, AT THE SAME TIME, YOU FACE PEYTON MANNING, TOM BRADY, ADRIAN PETERSON, JAMAAL CHARLES, DREW BREES, NICK FOLES – THEY’RE ALL THERE, CERTAINLY AT THE BIG EVENTS. EVERY WEEK, AND HUNGRY. NOT TO MENTION 40 OTHERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD WHO COULD STEAL THE CHEESE, TO NO ONE’S SURPRISE.

COULD YOU IMAGINE NFL PLAYERS CUT AT HALF-TIME? AND NOT COLLECT A CHECK? HAPPENS EVERY WEEK ON TOUR.

YES, GOLF IS APPLES AND ORANGES TO OTHER SPORTS. I’M JUST OFFERING A GENTLE REMINDER.

AND, JUST AS AN ASIDE: WHEN YOU LOOK AT SUPERSTARS IN OTHER SPORTS: MICHAEL JORDAN, TONY ROMO, LAWRENCE TAYLOR, JERRY RICE, CALVIN MURPHY, JOHN SMOLTZ, ETC. – ALL PASSIONATE GOLFERS — THEY ALL TAKE UP GOLF – AND THEY’RE ALL, WELL, OKAY, EVEN GOOD AMATEUR PLAYERS. BUT THEY’D STARVE AS PROFESSIONALS. I CAN THINK OF TWO WHO DID MODESTLY WELL AT GOLF AFTER THEIR PRO CAREERS ELSEWHERE: JOHN BRODIE, A VERY GOOD QUARTERBACK, PLAYED COMPETENTLY ON THE SENIOR TOUR FOR A TIME. AND LONG AGO, SAM BYRD, A GOOD PITCHER WITH THE YANKEES. BABE DIDRIKSON WOULD TOP THE LIST. BUT IT’S A VERY SHORT LIST. MICHAEL JORDAN – THE GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER EVER? HIS GOLF IS OKAY. JERRY RICE IS OKAY, AND MANY OTHERS – NHL GREAT MARIO LEMIEUX – WAS AN OAKMONT CLUB CHAMP – BUT THEY KNOW THEY COULDN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO THE PRO TOURISTS.

FRANKLY, IT’S EMBARRASSING WHEN THOSE THAT SHOULD KNOW BETTER BELITTLE GOLF.  THEY’RE JUST SHOWING THEIR SHORTCOMINGS. A SOPHISTICATED GAME…TAXING THE MENTAL & PHYSICAL. THE DISCIPLINE, THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, THE SKILL, THE PRESSURE – NOTHING LIKE IT. TO PLAY AT THE TOP LEVEL. TO WIN A MAJOR…IT’S CAPTURING LIGHTENING IN A BOTTLE.

IN GOLF, THE PLAYING FIELD, THE CONDITIONS ARE DIFFERENT EVERY DAY, DESIGNED TO TEST AND IMPERIL SKILL AND JUDGMENT. NOTHING LIKE IT.

ALL PROFESSIONAL SPORTS ARE TENUOUS. GOLF ESPECIALLY SO. ALL I’M SAYING.

SO WHEN SOMEONE SAYS GOLFERS AREN’T ATHLETES, OR HOW CAN THEY MAKE SO MUCH MONEY, FAT DUDES, WALKING UP AND DOWN A FAIRWAY WITH A CADDY – NO CLOCK, NO CROWD NOISE, NO BLITZES, NO BRUSH-BACKS, NO DEFENSE, NO TEAMMATES – REMIND THEM THAT IN GOLF YOU PLAY YOUR FOUL BALLS. THAT’S RIGHT, NO MULLIGANS, NO REPLAYS.

JUST REMIND THEM OF SOME OF THESE THINGS.

OF COURSE FOR OUR PURPOSES, THE PROS ARE JUST A SMALL BUT IMPORTANT PART OF THE BIGGER PICTURE. I’LL TALK ABOUT THEM, BUT WE DON’T FIXATE ON THEM. IT’S A PERSONAL PREFERENCE. OTHER SHOWS UNDOUBTEDLY DO IT DIFFERENTLY, MOST OF US DON’T PLAY FOOTBALL OR BASEBALL. BUT GOLF CAN BE PLAYED, AND PLAYED PASSIONATELY AND WELL, BY JUST ABOUT ANYONE. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE 6’ 4” 240, OR RUN THE HUNDRED IN SOME BLISTERING SCORE. A VERY DEMOCRATIC GAME. THE CLUBS DON’T KNOW HOW OLD YOU ARE, WHAT KIND OF MONEY YOU MAKE, OR WHO YOUR PARENTS ARE.

THAT’S GOLF, AND THAT’S WHY WE LIKE IT.

IT’S TRUE, YOU DON’T SEE PRO GOLFERS SMILE MUCH. THEY PLAY FOUR DAYS. IMAGINE AN NFL GAME LASTING FOUR DAYS.

A great thing about golf? No machines to wipe. Just like the congenial shag-encrusted Zone confines.

A great thing about golf? No machines to wipe. Just like the congenial shag-encrusted Zone confines.