Pure Sole: Golf

Sometimes I feel like I am standing in a sand trap trying to hammer an iron-forged orb up onto a grassy wonderland using a spoon.


That is what golf appears to be like for me.

Appears to be like.

I have never played.

I never want to play.

I have caddied for a friend who loves to golf. He golfs all over Thailand half the year.

I understand and respect that... but I just do not see the athleticism of golf.

To me, caddies are athletic. They carry all the, um, “gear” is a safe word.

In between my jumping jacks on the tee and my pushups on the first lie my buddy was growing rather irritated with me.

“You have to be quiet and stop moving all about,” the checkered-panted buddy said.

It seems checkered pants, or crazy shorts, or hats with logos that match the sunglasses dangling on them, are golf apparel.

“And please stop running down there and retrieving my ball.”

Then he would look at me like I was supposed to tell him which way the grass rolls and bumps and suggest that he use the woods, a tire iron or just keep his wedgie.

(Wait-a-minute, I was flashing back to middle school there for a moment).

It seems caddies know every fertilizer known to man and how to apply it to any type of grass on every golf course in the world.

I knew only that my knees were stained from the repeated lunges I did after my 10 pushups on each hole. I do not know how many clubs should be in the bag, I just want the bag to weight over 50-pounds so I can work up a sweat.

I have actually hit a ball.

I accompanied my golfing buddy to the driving range.

The whole way there I was so excited that we would be behind the wheel of some exotic sports car on a test track doing 300-miles-per-hour. I could not wait for the driving range.

His checkered pants should have been the giveaway for me.

So I stood with my bucket of Titleist, Top-Flite, and Callaway’s all mixed in together.

I bent and placed dimpled ball after dimpled ball on an artificial green cover that simulates grass greener than any I would be lucky enough to have at my house, if I could afford a house. My golfing buddy has a driving range at his house, all three of his houses.

That is another issue. Golf is expensive.

Standing next to my golfing buddy it appeared we were an ad for a late night infomercial. He was the successful graduate that had cured the ills of the world with one mighty stroke from the 18th tee in the grandest tournament of the year. He was the after.

I was the hobbled little curmudgeon that lived under the ninth green and stole peanuts from golf carts until I was captured by a passing pro who tethered me to his golf bag, put a shock collar around my neck, and the rest became history. I was the before.

On the driving range I took blow after blow at these little objects. Some skipped away, some sliced off to a poor soul to my right, others attacked swingers to my left, and some just sat there and mocked me.

“You need to practice more.”

My golf buddy has such great wisdoms, too.

Yes, I would need to practice more. If I liked golf.

You see, the caddie is the athlete. Golfers listen to their caddies. They pat them on the back when they win and fire them when they lose. That is the true sign of a great athlete.

Caddies are golfers who didn’t quite master swings, putts and yelling at photographers who snap their photo while they master swings and putts.

I am more caddie-ish than golferish.

I need a workout in my sports.

I don’t see that in golf.

I hear the arguments, I get it, and I understand... this is not a knock on golf.

The walking of 18 holes, or 9 holes, or from your golf cart to the ball and back to the cart.

The weather that hammers you from all angles.

The bugs, the birds and the alligators (depending on which course you play).

Those incessant women that want to sleep with you.

That brings me to another dilemma.

I want to please those of you who like golf and want to see it on our pages.

Enter Tiger Woods.

Great golfer, very bad husband.

Those who control the stipends that allow me to buy bread and water love golf and want to see it a lot. They also do not like adultery, cheaters, scandalous liaisons, and any other inappropriate action that takes away from the dignities of the sport.

Tiger wins a lot.

In sports you usually put in the winner of an event.

Evidentially Tiger cheated a lot on his model wife Elin Nordegren.

Somehow he has attracted our country’s top skier Lindsey Vonn now. I hope Lindsey has not taken one to many high-speed tumbles.

“Sources” say Vonn is comfortable with Tiger’s explanation of his past and he has been honest with her. When she crashed at the Alpine World Championships in Austria, Tiger’s private jet flew her home to Vail to mend the torn ligaments and fractured shin.

I like to put Ms. Vonn on the front page every so often.

I imagine we will see Tiger waiting at the bottom of a slalom for Vonn to swoop in after a dangerous high-speed race.

Vonn, the athlete, legs rippling with adrenaline, shoulders aching, abs flexed. I imagine she lifts Tiger off the ground and shakes him about in victory.

And I see all these bits of paper and phone numbers and room keys falling about.

Hey, I am sure Tiger has changed.

He looked pretty changed standing next to Arnold Palmer after winning that legend’s golf tournament.

They were all smiles and hugs and handshakes. The cheater and the legend.

If you look hard enough, in the background you might see a caddy doing pushups.

Shhhhhhhh. Remember to whisper when you read this.

I am golfing.


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