Bunker Mentality: Time Flies… And So Do Wedges and Putters
Most civilized folks play golf as an escape from the tedium and stress of the real world, a place to commune with squirrels and birdies alike, a grass-fed folly.
Then there are those to whom the game is a field of mortal battle, a heart-attack serious test of character and will. Poor souls. Was Mommy not nurturing enough? Did you miss a four-footer to break 80?
Mind you, I like to go low as much as the next guy or gal, but not if it means doubling up on my blood pressure meds to do so. Golf is not only not a game of perfect, it is a time and place to admit you’re not Nicklaus or Woods or Sorenstam. Hell, you ain’t even Dorf (the goofy Tim Conway character from 1987) — at least he was trying to be ridiculous.
Which is why I’m strumming these petty bourgeois blues, to lament the time wasted and turmoil endured when your golf mates curse bloody murder, hurl wedges like Frisbees and turn a day in the park into a contest better staged at the Roman Colosseum. Thumbs down on bad manners, unless you happen to be a lion. They were born to be barbarous.
Conveniently, my own older brother is in a category unto himself when it comes to ignoring the basic tenets of civility and calm in the course of 18 holes. He’s the kind of guy who throws his putter into a water hazard after carding a triple, claiming he bought it at KMart for $29. That money would have been far better spent on a half-hour anger management session.
The real rub is that the putt he missed for double bogey took him no less than 60 seconds to survey from front and rear, plumb-bob (as if he understood either geometry or physics) and then, four practice strokes later, miss by seven feet, at which point he hustles to his ball declaring: “I’ll putt out!”
Assuming he hits 35 putts on a given day, I daresay my dear sibling costs me nearly half an hour per round while he dithers and dawdles. Apparently he never read Charles Darwin, who said that “a man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” They ought to post that sign on the first tee rather than that outmoded dress code.
Like Bobby Jones said, “Golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course, the space between your ears.” Control the gray matter and nothing else matters. And pick your playing partners carefully, lest you wind up on the wrong side of a flying niblick. ▪