Golf Digress

Physically cultured commentary on Sport and Wellness

Which situation would you rather be in?

I happened to pick up a copy of “Top Dog,” subtitled The Science of Winning and Losing, apparently making the rounds with an avalanche of favorable pop science press and publicity. Golf doesn’t figure heavily in the storyline, although there are a few references, but I find myself coming back to it as the authors veer from various circumstances to make their points. For instance, they pose the question regarding the following flip side of the coin regarding a soccer penalty kick.

 Which situation would you rather be in?

  • Your team is down by one, and you have to make it to tie; if you miss, your team will lose.
  • Your team is tied, and you don’t have to make it, but if you do make it, you’ll win.

A similar situation occurs routinely in golf and will be recognizable to anyone with a penchant for the game’s most traditional and agonizing format: match play, such as we get it in pitying small doses in events like the Ryder, Solheim, Curtis and Walker Cups.

A putt to win the hole is obviously easier than one to halve it. Only the stakes have changed. Research shows that in the above scenario, the ball finds the net 30 percent fewer times, such is the psychological baggage. It’s the difference between what’s characterized as a threat (the team down) and the challenge (for the win). One only need recall the pressure on the shoulders of Herr Langer along the South Carolina coast to wonder if in golf the 30 percent figure might be conservative.

In any event the example serves to underscore one endearing and inherent aspect of golf’s complexity.

An earlier part of the book highlights the differences between competing against a clock and alongside an opponent. Humans, it seems, far prefer and do better pitted against someone. We perform better when the competitor is in our sights, as in a race. The heat of the moment, the sense of the occasion, the crowd can spur us on to remarkable feats. A distinction is made between what’s known as extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. On our own, if I have this right, the motivation is intrinsic. The presence of a direct competitor ups the ante, spurs the competitive juices. It is extrinsic and it improves performance. Better times, for instance, even for a competitor who doesn’t necessarily win.

Here again golf offers another layer. During rounds of medal play the golfer must perform well intrinsically. His nearest competitor(s) may be hours from teeing off. Then, perhaps should be begin the final days round in sight of the lead, or even in the final pairing, he may have at least a general idea of his direct competitor. It may, however, be foolhardy to give the matter a second thought. Numerous others he’s never laid eyes on can pass him. Carole Semple Thompson, an exceptional match play champion, told me she hardly paid her opponents more than a glance – but match and medal play are not the same.

Golf, it would seem, offers a much more complex psychological landscape than other sports – a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic. Much harder, not to belittle the feat, than, say, overtaking a swimmer with an advantage in the anchor leg of a race.

There’s also this, a finding related to the study of SAT scores. The study identified something called the “N-Effect,” which holds that the more competitors involved, “the worse outcome for the individuals who are participating.”

 When there are only a few people in the race, we put our foot on the gas, working harder and harder to outpace our competitors. And the competition becomes very personal, a referendum on our own ability.

“In contrast, when we are against many, many competitors,” says [Professor Steven] Garcia, “we don’t care as much about how we stack up against one other competitor. Once the crowd is large enough that we don’t feel the element of personal competition, the result doesn’t feel like a personal statement of our worth, so we don’t try as hard.”

If this is indeed, true, it suggests an additional invisible element tugging at the professional golfer struggling against a large, competent, determined – and as noted – real if largely ephemeral field.

I'm guessing I know which option Herr Langer would choose.

I’m guessing I know which option Herr Langer would choose.

Stalking Points Memo: Azodicarbonamide edition

“…food strictly from the earth.”

I cook just about anything, but I don’t fry no foods and I very seldom mess with pork. I’m not against port. But most of our guys are trying to make weight, and pork doesn’t help you make weight. When a fighter’s got to make weight, he should eat roast chicken, turkey, fish, green vegetables. When my fighters find out I’m cooking, they break the doors down.

North Philadelphia's George Benton, boxer, trainer dietician, hall of famer.

North Philadelphia’s George Benton, boxer, trainer dietician, hall of famer.

I really think diet has a lot to do with how fighters develop. Puerto Rican and Mexican fighters, most of them are brawlers and good punchers. You know why? Beans and rice and tortillas, that’s why. They eat food that’s strictly from the earth. Beans, rice, flour, corn.

It’s a funny thing, you eat better when you’re poor than you do when you’re rich. The more money you make, the more you start eating fancy food. When I was a kid, I was eating collard greens. Now I never eat collard greens. But they’re better for you than fancy food.

The late George Benton from “In the Corner” (Great Boxing Trainers Talk About their Art) by Dave Anderson (1991)

From NBC News:

8.7 Million Pounds of Meat Products from California Recalled

Nearly 9 million pounds of meat products has been recalled by a California company that processed “diseased and unsound animals,” according to federal regulators.

The meat from the Rancho Feeding Corp. of Petaluma, Calif., was processed without proper inspections and was considered unfit for human consumption, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Saturday on its website.

The agency’s notice classified the health risk as high, but said it had received no reports of illness. It did not specify what diseases might be involved.

From Gallup:

Americans Eating Habits Worsening in 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ eating habits have deteriorated in 2013, as fewer adults report eating healthy all day “yesterday” in every month so far this year compared with the same months in 2012. In particular, healthy eating in June, July, August, and September declined by at least three percentage points from the same months in 2012. Moreover, in most months this year, healthy eating has been at its lowest in Gallup trends since 2008.

From CBS News:

Subway sandwich chain to remove chemical found in yoga mats from bread

Subway confirmed on Thursday that they were removing a chemical used to make yoga mats and rubber soles on shoes from their sandwich bread.

Thanks for the tip, Food Babe!

Thanks for the tip, Food Babe!

“We are already in the process of removing azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is a USDA and FDA approved ingredient,” Subway told CBS News via e-mail. “The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon.”

The fact that azodicarbonamide was used as an ingredient in U.S. and Canadian Subway products was brought to light by FoodBabe.com blogger Vani Hari. Hari claims the chemical can be found in 9-grain wheat, Italian white, honey oat, Italian herbs & cheese, parmesan/oregano, roasted garlic, sourdough and Monterrey cheddar breads.

From WebMD:

  Avoid Sports Injuries: Tips From an Olympic Doctor

 2014 Winter Olympic Team USA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gloria Beim:

Non-Olympic athletes who are really interested in playing a sport need to think about training during the off-season. Think about doing routine flexibility and strengthening exercises and keeping your body balanced, because that reduces injury. Proper biomechanics and muscular balancing reduces injury. It really does.

I will give you an example. I often see tennis players (and even golfers) in the summer with shoulder pain. They tell me, “Yeah, I didn’t do anything all winter, but I just played tennis, five games, over the weekend, and my shoulder is killing me.”

No off-season shoulder pain here. Hello...

No off-season shoulder pain here. Hello…

 

Well, that is not surprising. The Olympic athlete would never do that. They are training all the time and they are keeping in excellent fitness, excellent muscular balance. They have the coaching, the training, the physical therapist or athletic trainers — all the resources to help them train properly and stay balanced and fit. They don’t get the overuse injuries that a non-Olympian would who jumps into his sport now and again.

That’s Golf! Feb. 9, 2014 – Joe Black edition

Arnold famously assisted by Joe Black - as Jimmy Demaret quipped - with Hawaii as his nearest drop.

Arnold famously assisted by Joe Black – as Jimmy Demaret quipped – with Hawaii as his nearest drop.

I’M NOT SURE HOW I’D REACT IF I SAW DIRTY HARRY MOVING TOWARDS ME. BUT IF HE DISLODGES A PIECE OF STUCK CHEESEY BIT CHOKING ME, I’M OKAY WITH HIM ADMINISTERING THE HEIMLICH. YOU COULDN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP, COULD YOU? WELL DONE, CLINT EASTWOOD. . .

…AND THEN, DID YOU HEAR THE CRIME DOG – THE ACTOR WHO PLAYS THE CRIME FIGHTING MASCOT – GETS 16 YEARS. AND SUBWAY SANDWICHES WITH YOGA MAT INGREDIENTS. TASTY! YOU COULDN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP. (I’LL RESERVE JUDGMENT ON OLYMPIC UNIFORMS. AND MAYBE YOU SAW JOHN DALY’S STARS & STRIPES TROUSERS. KID ROCK WAS WEARING THEM YESTERDAY. VERY POPULAR SELLERS, I’M SURE, IN HELLMAND PROVINCE OR TEHRAN.)

…LIVE FROM THE INSTITUTE OF NON-BRACKETOLOGICAL RESEARCH, IT’S THAT’S GOLF! NO ALGORITHMS, NO DATA MINING, NO CREEPY STUFFED OVER-SIZED MASCOTS, JUST MINDLESS CHATTER. ACTUALLY, I HOPE THE NSA IS LISTENING…IT COULD BOOST THE RATINGS.

YOUR HOST AND SHAG BOY, WORTH A MILLION IN PRIZES, BUT NOT ONE OF THE 1.23 BILLION ON FACEBOOK, AGAIN SAFELY ENTOMBED INSIDE THE SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES. THINK OF ME OF THE ZONE’S “PROFESSOR DUMPSTER.”

THE PEBBLE BEACH APPETIZER EPISODE RECALLS A TIME-TESTED BIT OF ADVICE: ONE NEEDS TO BE WARY OF APPETIZERS. MY METHOD, I THINK IS SOUND, SO I’LL SHARE IT. I DON’T TYPICALLY GIVE ADVICE BUT …WHEN IT COMES TO APPETIZERS, IF YOU CAN’T RECOGNIZE WHAT’S IN IT, BEST NOT TO PUT IT IN YOUR MAW.

…WE’RE A PRESENTATION OF SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE AND YOUR AUSTIN AREA CHURCH OF THE INVETERATE DUFFER. HERE’S A STORY FROM JOE BLACK’S BOOK, “A FEW GOOD GOLF STORIES.” THE PRO WILL JOIN US IN THE NEXT SEGMENT.

IT’S ENTITLED, “ARNOLD PALMER’S CLUBS.”

…WE PLAYED THE DALLAS OPEN AT OAK CLIFF WHERE I WAS A MEMBER. IF YOU KNOW ARNOLD PALMER, YOU KNOW HE HAS ALWAYS FIDDLED WITH HIS CLUBS. HE DID EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WITH HIS GOLF CLUBS. HE WOULD REWIND THE GRIPS DURING THE PRACTICE ROUNDS AND BE IN THE BAG ROOM BEATING ON THEM WITH A HAMMER. HE WENT INTO THE BAG ROOM AT OAK CLIFF TO TINKER WITH HIS CLUBS AND HE SAW MY CLUBS IN THE BAG ROOM AND STARTED EXAMINING THEM. HE COULDN’T KEEP HIS HANDS OFF OF THEM. HE CAME TO ME AND SAID, “I’ve got to have your driver.”

ARNOLD WAS WITH WILSON AT THAT TIME AND I WAS PLAYING WILSON CLUBS. I HAD A DRIVER THAT JOE WOLF, WILSON’S TOUR REPRESENTATIVE, HAD MADE FOR ME. HE SAID “I’VE GOT TO HAVE IT.”

I SAID, “ARNOLD, YOU CAN’T CAN’T HAVE THAT DRIVER.”

THEN HE SAID, “I’VE GOT TO HAVE THAT DRIVER.”

AGAIN I TOLD HIM NO. THEN HE SAID, “LET ME USE IT THIS WEEK.”

SO HE USED IT THAT WEEK AND DROVE GREAT WITH IT. HE WAS SUPPOSED TO PUT IT BACK IN MY BAG AT THE END OF THE TOURNAMENT.

WELL, ARNOLD, GARY PLAYER AND I WERE GOING TO CHICAGO THE NEXT WEEK TO FILM A TELEVISION MATCH BETWEEN GARY AND ARNOLD. THEN ARNOLD SAID, “WHY DON’T YOU FLY UP THERE WITH ME ON MONDAY? SINCE THE MATCH ISN’T UNTIL FRIDAY WE CAN MESS AROUND AND PLAY GOLF AND GO OUT TO WILSON.”

I TOLD HIM NO, THAT I HAD BEEN GONE FROM HOME ALL SUMMER AND I WAS GOING TO STAY HOME AND WOULD BE IN CHICAGO ON THURSDAY. HE SAID OKAY.

SO I CALLED HIM ON THURSDAY WHEN I GOT IN AND HE SAID, “HEY, YOU’VE GOT TO COME OVER HERE AND SEE YOUR DRIVER!”

I SAID, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO SEE MY DRIVER?”

HE SAID, “WELL, I BROUGHT IT WITH ME AND I TOOK IT OUT TO WILSON AND, BOY, IT’S REALLY GREAT NOW!”

SO I WENT OVER TO HIS ROOM AND HE TAKEN A WOOD RASP AND RASPED THE TOE RIGHT OFF MY DRIVER. HE HOOKED EVERYTHING SO HE DID THAT TO ALL HIS CLUBS. HE HAD JUST DESTROYED MY DRIVER. I WAS REALLY HOT.

HE WENT OUT THE NEXT DAY AND DROVE IT DREADFULLY. THEN HE TRIED TO GIVE IT BACK TO ME. I SAID NO, THAT HE HAD RUINED MY DRIVER AND THAT HE OWED ME. HE ASKED ME WHAT I WANTED AND I SAID I WANTED HIS BACK UP PUTTER. HE HAD THAT FAMOUS PUTTER THAT HE MADE BY WELDING A FLANGE ON THE BACK OF A TOMMY ARMOUR PUTTER. HE HAD TWO OF THEM. HE REFUSED, SAYING HE WOULD BE IN TROUBLE IF HE LOST HIS PUTTER.

WE WENT TO SEATTLE FROM THERE AND EVERY TIME I SAW HIM I ASKED HIM ABOUT MY PUTTER. NEXT, WE WENT TO PORTLAND FOR HIS LAST TOURNAMENT, AND EVERY TIME I SAW HIM I ASKED, “ARNIE, WHERE IS MY PUTTER?”

AT THE END OF THE TOURNAMENT I WAS STANDING NEAR THE SCOREBOARD WHEN HE FINISHED AND HE CAME OVER TO ME AND SAID, “COME OUT HERE!”

I WALKED OUT INTO THE PARKING LOT AND HE PULLED HIS IRONS OUT OF HIS BAG AND HANDED THEM TO ME AND SAID, “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER DAMN WORD FROM YOU ABOUT MY PUTTER!”

THOSE IRONS WERE THE ONES HE USED TO WIN FOURTEEN TOURNAMENTS INCLUDING THE MASTERS, THE BRITISH OPEN, AND THE OPEN – TOURNAMENTS THAT ENABLED ARNOLD TO SET THE ALL-TIME MONEY RECORD OF THAT TIME.

I STILL HAVE THEM.

My notebook

  • Can be dropped, or thrown, repeatedly without damaging it.
  • Costs nothing to store.
  • Does not require electricity or batteries to operate.
  • Requires no heavy metals or slave labor.
  • Will never “eat” my work.
  • Doesn’t require a manual, or packaging.
  • Using it has not been linked to cancer.
  • You can spill food on it.
  • No one will steal it.
  • No ads, creeps, or trolls.
  • It is inexpensive, not to mention:
  • Personal, adaptable, and ancient.
  • A century from now it will still be “fully functional.”
  • It is impervious to the NSA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Facebook, etc.
  • Yet, it requires no password.
  • It is easy to read; no eye strain or risk of carpal tunnel.
  • Lightweight and ergonomic, a renewable resource.
  • Child and adult can use it without instruction.
  • It never needs updates, and will never be subject to recalls or upgrades.
  • Only the people I show it to can access its contents.
  • Airplanes allow it during take-offs and landings.
  • It doesn’t make a sound.

What else? What have I forgotten?

Oh, here it is:

Sorry, dorm room entrepreneurs, it's already perfect.

Sorry, dorm room entrepreneurs, it’s already perfect.

Moscow 1980

Image

One of a number of posters from an eventful year at the University of Southampton, 1979/80. It is for sale. I can’t remember many Conservative students during Madam Medusa’s time but I couldn’t resist the poster.

“…hard in a very sweet way,” says Bradley Wiggins

"At the top end it’s a very sweet pain, " writes the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France.

“At the top end it’s a very sweet pain, ” writes the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France.

“It’s hard to put into layman’s terms how you feel. It’s a nice way of being wasted. When you are fit and your form is great those efforts are hard in a very sweet way. Sometimes you haven’t got the form and you are suffering, but if you are hurting when the form’s good, it can be an incredible feeling. When you are getting dropped in a race it’s horrible, a lot of people who ride sportives and so on would be able to relate to that. But when you are off the front as I was in Paris-Nice that March or leading a time trial, it’s a different kind of pain altogether. At the top end it’s a very sweet pain. It’s mixed with the endorphins you get from the effort; it’s what makes you able to push even harder. I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum.”

From: My Time by Bradley Wiggins (Velo Press, 2013)

Top 10 Reasons to Fear Riding a bike in Austin

And the No. 1 reason to fear riding a bike in Austin...The Ford F-150, ladies and gentlemen.

And the No. 1 reason to fear riding a bike in Austin…The Ford F-150, ladies and gentlemen.

  1. F-150
  2. F-3500
  3. XTERRA-SE
  4. Ram 2500
  5. Silverado
  6. 4Runner
  7. Durango
  8. Tundra
  9. Explorer
  10. Highlander

That’s Golf! Feb. 4, 2014 Opening Segment

Not available on:  FACEBOOK, LINKED IN, TWITTER, TUMBLER, OK CUPID, PIN INTEREST, SNAP CHAT, J DATE, GOOGLE PLUS, INSTAGRAM, MY SPACE, CHILLER CREATURE THEATER, CENTRAL MARKET’S 10 MOST WANTED LIST OF BULK BIN GRAZERS, OR ON ANYTHING MORE PERFORMANCE ENHANCING THAN FRESH-SQUEEZED PINEAPPLE JUICE AND GINGER..

Not available on: FACEBOOK, LINKED IN, TWITTER, TUMBLR, OK CUPID, PIN INTEREST, SNAP CHAT, J DATE, GOOGLE PLUS, INSTAGRAM, MY SPACE, CHILLER CREATURE THEATER, CENTRAL MARKET’S 10 MOST WANTED LIST OF BULK BIN GRAZERS, OR ON ANYTHING MORE PERFORMANCE ENHANCING THAN FRESH-SQUEEZED PINEAPPLE JUICE AND GINGER..

PLEASE TAKE YOUR SEATS. WE’LL GET STARTED. WE’RE PART OF A COMPLETE AND WELL-BALANCED WEEKEND SPORTS PROGRAMMING DIET, ESPECIALLY ON THIS PUPPY BOWL SUNDAY.

I HOPE THE GRILL WON’T SET OFF THE FIRE ALARM. WE’RE STARTING EARLY HERE IN THE STATELY SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES.

YOU MAY BE WONDERING:

COULD LISTENING TO THAT’S GOLF SKY-ROCKET YOUR CONFIDENCE IN THE BEDROOM?

I WOULD SAY — PROBABLY – NOT. BUT SINCE THERE HAVEN’T BEEN ANY STUDIES TO THE CONTRARY, THE QUESTION STILL REMAINS.

THERE’S ALSO THE POSSIBILITY IT COULD CONCEIVABLY HELP RELIEVE THAT “PAINFUL BURNING AND ITCHING.” IT’S POSSIBLE.

COULD IT HELP YOU ON THE FIRST TEE? WELL, WE’D LIKE TO THINK SO. ESPECIALLY THE SEGMENT DEVOTED TO GAME IMPROVEMENT. AGAIN, THERE HAVE NOT BEEN ANY DEFINITIVE STUDIES.

BUT ANOTHER GREAT THING ABOUT GOLF: NO NOROVIRUS. AND RARELY DO THE WINNERS IN GOLF GET DRENCHED WITH COLORED, SUGARY, STICKY LIQUID.

IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING, YOU WILL RARELY HEAR ME BREAK INTO SONG. JOKES ARE INFREQUENT. AND I SIGNED A PLEDGE NOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT MY LAST ROUND.

WE DO, HOWEVER, DOGGEDLY TRACK DOWN AND VISIT WITH THOSE DOING INTERESTING THINGS IN GOLF. TODAY WILL BE NO EXCEPTION

WE ALSO INTENTIONALLY VEER AWAY FROM SOME OF THE MORE REGRETTABLE ASPECTS OF SPORTS TALK RADIO. I RARELY MAKE PREDICTIONS, OR SHOUT. NO LESS THAN BLACKIE SHERROD WROTE THAT: “SPORTS PREDICTIONS ARE THE LAST REFUGE OF DIMWITS.”

FRANKLY, THE LESS TALK ABOUT MONEY, THE BETTER. MY OWN BIAS IS AGAINST: “FIVE-SOMES,” “MULLIGANS,” OR “CARTS.” I ALSO THINK OLYMPIC GOLF IS A MISTAKE, A YAWNER, AND I’VE LONG ADVOCATED THAT SLOW PLAY SHOULD BE TREATED AS A CLASS C MISDEMEANOR.

SIMILAR PENALTIES WOULD, IN A PERFECT WORLD, BE LEVIED FOR SUCH OFFENSES AS TAKING MORE THAN ONE PRACTICE SWING, AND BRINGING A CELL PHONE ONTO THE GOLF COURSE…

WHEN IT’S GOING WELL THE HOUR PASSES QUICKLY. TRENT GIESEN IS THE LONG-SUFFERING PRODUCER. WITH A FACE MADE FOR RADIO, MY NAME IS JIM APFELBAUM. I HAVE NOT (YET) RENEWED BY GHIN HANDICAP. MY FAVORITE COURSE IS JASPER PARK IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES. YOU CAN FIND ME IN FREQUENT BEAST MODE ON GOLFDIGRESS.COM.

YOU WON’T FIND ME, HOWEVER, ON: FACEBOOK, LINKED IN, TWITTER, TUMBLER, OK CUPID, PIN INTEREST, SNAP CHAT, J DATE, GOOGLE PLUS, INSTAGRAM, MY SPACE, CHILLER CREATURE THEATER, CENTRAL MARKET’S 10 MOST WANTED LIST OF BULK BIN GRAZERS, OR ON ANYTHING MORE PERFORMANCE ENHANCING THAN FRESH-SQUEEZED PINEAPPLE JUICE WITH GINGER…

WE’RE A PRESENTATION OF SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE AND YOUR AUSTIN AREA CHURCH OF THE INVETERATE DUFFER. OUR SERMON TODAY COMES FROM AN INTERESTING BOOK, FROM IRELAND. “ONLY GOLF SPOKEN HERE” BY IVAN MORRIS IS DESCRIBED AS THE COLORFUL MEMORIES OF A PASSIONATE IRISH GOLFER. HE WAS ONCE A VERY GOOD AMATEUR PLAYER. AND, LIKE MANY OF HIS COUNTRYMEN, HAS A KEEN EYE AND AWARENESS FOR THE GAME.

HE RETELLS A STORY FROM BALLYBUNION, A PLACE OF MUCH LORE AND LEGEND.

THE FOLLOWING STORY CONCERNS ONE OF THE MORE COLORFUL MEMBERS, A MAN NAMED BILL HARNETT. IT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

“ON ANOTHER OCCASION,” MORRIS WRITES, “HARNETT, WHO EARNED HIS LIVING AS A BANK OFFICIAL, WAS SELECTED TO REPRESENT HIS ORGANIZATION IN A KEENLY-CONTESTED INTERBANK MATCH. AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, BILL WAS DRAWN TO PLAY AGAINST AN OBVIOUSLY MUCH INFERIOR OPPONENT, WHO HAPPENED TO BE A BOARD DIRECTOR OF THE OPPOSING BANK. BEFORE SETTING OUT TO PLAY, BILL WAS APPROACHED BY HIS OWN TEAM CAPTAIN AND TOLD “TO GO EASY” ON HIS OPPONENT BECAUSE THE POOR FELLOW WAS ONLY FILLING IN AS A LAST-MINUTE REPLACEMENT AND WOULD BE OUT OF HIS DEPTH. AFTER SIX HOLES, THE CAPTAIN MET BILL, HEAD DOWN AND OBVIOUSLY CONCENTRATING HARD, STRIDING DETERMINEDLY TOWARD THE SEVENTH TEE.

“HOW ARE YOU GOING, BILL?”

“SIX UP.”

“DIDN’T I TELL YOU TO TAKE IT HANDY?

“BLANK OFF!”

GOING FROM THE NINTH GREEN TO THE TENTH TEE, THE TEAM CAPTAIN AND PLAYER MET YET AGAIN.

“HOW’S IT GOING NOW, BILL?

“NINE UP.”

“JAYSUS, BILL, DIDN’T I ASK YOU TO GO EASY? THAT MAN IS ONLY MAKING UP NUMBERS. AND BESIDES, HE IS A DIRECTOR!”

“BLANK OFF.!”

AT THE TENTH, BILL’S OPPONENT MADE A VALIANT EFFORT TO RESTORE SOME PRIDE, BUT HIS SHOT KICKED UNLUCKILY INTO THE CAVERNOUS BUNKER JUST OFF THE GREEN ON THE RIGHT. AS HE WAS GOING DOWN INTO THE BUNKER THE POOR MAN LOST HIS FOOTING AND FELL INTO THE SAND, GROUNDING HIS CLUB IN THE PROCESS. BILL RUSHED FORWARD – NOT TO THE MAN’S ASSISTANCE, BUT TO CLAIM THE HOLE AND MATCH! WHEN BILL’S TEAMMATES HEARD ABOUT THIS, THEY WERE DISGUSTED AND SHUNNED HIM IN THE CLUBHOUSE AFTERWARD. HE WAS LEFT TO EAT AND DRINK ALONE. AFTER A SUITABLE COOLING OFF PERIOD, SOMEBODY APPROACHED BILL, WHO, IT MUST BE SAID, WAS NORMALLY A MOST AFFABLE AND WARM PERSON.

“WHY DID YOU DO IT, BILL? WHAT DID THAT POOR MAN EVER DO TO YOU?”

“IT IS LIKE THIS,” REPLIED BILL. “THE SHAGGER HAD A BAG OF PEPPERMINTS THE WHOLE WAY ROUND AND HE NEVER OFFERED ME ONE!”

IVAN MORRIS, FROM “ONLY GOLF SPOKEN HERE,” COLORFUL MEMORIES OF A PASSIONATE IRISH GOLFER. (AT LEAST ONE.)

“I know this is heresy.”

Never too late for a little John Tunis sanity, especially on the eve of the big game, this from $ports$ (1928):

Man has always, I suppose, been a hero worshiper. Doubtless he always will be. We Americans do not seem to take to religious prophets. We have no Queen Marie, nor even a Mussolini, to raise upon a pedestal. Consequently we turn hopefully to the world of sports. There we will find the material to satisfy our lust for hero worship; there we discover the true gods of the nation. Messrs. Hagen, Tunney, Tilden, Jones, Ruth, Cohen, Dempsey – these become the idols of America’s masculine population, young and old. And why not? After all we ask ourselves, are they not athletes? Have they not been cleansed (and so sanctified) in the great white heat of competition, upon the links or the gridiron, the court or the diamond. That competitive sport – any kind of competitive sport from squash tennis to prize fighting makes for nobility of character, such is the first commandment of the American sporting public. This, in fact, is the foundation of the Great Sports Myth.

"Yet if football, for instance, is the noble, elevating and character-building sport it is supposed to be why, I wonder, is it necessary to station an umpire, a field judge, a head linesman, and half a dozen assistants to follow the play..."

“Yet if football, for instance, is the noble, elevating and character-building sport it is supposed to be why, I wonder, is it necessary to station an umpire, a field judge, a head linesman, and half a dozen assistants to follow the play…”

Yet, in plain truth, highly organized competitive sports are not character-building; on the contrary, after a good deal of assistance at and some competition in them, I am convinced that the reverse is true. So far are they from building character that, in my opinion, continuous and excessive participation in competitive sports tends to destroy it. Under the terrific stress of striving for victory, victory, victory, all sorts of unpleasant traits are brought out and strengthened. Too frequently the player’s worst side is magnified; his self-control is broken down much more than it is built up. I know this is heresy. I realize that the contrary is preached from every side. (Most fervently, however, the preachers are sports writers, football coaches, or others who have some other direct and personal interest in the furtherance of the Great Sports Myth.) I am aware that the participants in American sports are all supposed to be little short of demi-gods. Yet if football, for instance, is the noble, elevating and character-building sport it is supposed to be why, I wonder, is it necessary to station an umpire, a field judge, a head linesman, and half a dozen assistants to follow the play at a distance of a few yards and to watch zealously every one of the twenty-two contestants in order that no heads and no rules may be simultaneously broken?

Stalking Points Memo: Save it for Later edition

From: Boingboing.net:

What is exposed about you and your friends when you login with Facebook

When you log in to a service with Facebook, the company exposes an enormous amount of sensitive personal information to the service’s operator — everything from your political views to your relationship status. What’s more, logging into a service with Facebook also exposes your contacts’ personal information to the service: their locations, political views, organizations, religion, and more.

From Fox News:

Sitting increases risk of heart failure in men, study shows

In a study published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, researchers analyzed the health of 84,170 men ages 45 to 69 without heart failure. Over an eight-year period, they analyzed the men’s exercise levels in addition to their time spent being sedentary.

At the study’s end, men with low levels of physical activity were 52 percent more likely to develop heart failure compared to men with high levels of physical activity. Furthermore, men who spent five or more hours a day sitting were 34 percent more likely to develop heart failure compared to those who spent less than two hours a day sitting – regardless of how much they exercised. “Be more active and sit less. That’s the message here,” lead researcher Deborah Rohm Young of Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, California, said in a press release.

From the Associated Press:

 Cyclist: Driver didn’t see me stuck in windshield

 A Wisconsin man who became lodged in the windshield of a car that struck him said he turned to the driver and said, “Hello, I’m the guy you hit on the bicycle.”

The driver did not respond, but continued on, running a stop sign and hitting another vehicle before he arrived home, the cyclist, Steven Gove, told HTR Media about the Saturday incident. The man finally noticed Gove when he stopped the car outside his home. …

Gove, a 56-year-old newspaper carrier, was shocked that the driver didn’t see him on his three-wheeled delivery bike. “I was wearing my blue overcoat with my neon reflective vest,” said Gove. “I had my front and rear flashers on. I have no idea why he didn’t see me.”

From Fox News:

Pepsi One contains high levels of potential carcinogen, Consumer Reports reveals

Recent testing by Consumer Reports has revealed that cans of Pepsi One may contain high levels of a potential carcinogen called d 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI).

Under Proposition 65, the state of California mandates that any food or beverage that exposes people to more than 29 micrograms of 4-MeI per day must carry a health warning on its packaging.

Knowing that 4-MeI is often used in the artificial caramel coloring that gives soda its brown hue, Consumer Reports tested 81 cans and bottles of popular soft drinks purchased in New York and California between April and September 2013. The researchers then retested any brands that initially tested as containing over 29 micrograms of 4-MeI per can or bottle. Both rounds of testing revealed that Pepsi One and another soft drink called Malta Goya contained more than 29 grams of 4-MeI per can or bottle.

From the New York Times:

Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94

“Through the years, Mr. Seeger remained determinedly optimistic. “The key to the future of the world,” he said in 1994, “is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.”

From Fox News:

Daily Buzz: Is Tiger Woods too buff for his own good?

“My opinion is he did too much of that,”€[Hank] Haney said of [Eldrick] Woods’ workouts, via Golf.com. “He does a lot of the gym stuff. I know you need to do some for golf, no doubt about it. You need to be in shape, you need to avoid injury, but my opinion is he really overdoes that.

“… I look at him now and a lot of guys mentioned on the telecast, he looks bigger this year. I think Peter Kostis mentioned that. He looks like he’s gained more muscle mass. When he was thinner and younger he was actually faster then. The strength maybe helps you get out of the rough but I’d agree that he’s overdone it. But he loves to work out.”€

Instead, Haney says, Woods’ time would be better spent on the putting green.

“Let me tell you what his real key to golf is, it’s getting out there and practicing his putting,” Haney said.” He had five three-putts in 54 holes at Torrey Pines and you’re not going to fix that in the gym.”