Monday, July 19, 2010

Par for the Course unless you're lying on it.

It's a fact. Golf runs in the family. The legacy began over 50 years ago when my father picked up his first club. He was in his late 50's and I was in my early 10's when he joined a country club. I loved going to the "club". There was something very "unique" about being a member of a "club". While my friends spent their Summers at overnight camp, I was at the "club".  There was swimming, billiards, tennis and devilled eggs at the "club".  "Club"  food was delicious. I had no interest in playing golf but my father really had his heart set on his little girl making it into the LPGA.  He rented some golf paraphernalia for me and positioned us on the tee box. I would swing and miss the little white ball. Swing miss....swing miss....swing miss....over and over again. Then I would grip that stupid stick so hard and send large divets of grass flying through the air.

"Keep your eye on the ball", he would say. "Hold the club like this", he would demonstrate. "What's the matter with you"?, he would ask.

He endlessly coached, simulated and illustrated how to read the fairways and the greens. He dragged me through 18 holes of sandtraps, water hazards, long grass, fescue and when it was all said and done score for the day was 72 (over par) and he concluded that I am perfectly suited for the a spectator.

And so, I spent my days at the club in the pool swimming like a shark and in a dark elegant room playing pool like a shark. At that stage of my life golf was not in the cards for me but it didn't stop my father from carrying his clubs and balls around for exactly forty more years. He played like a pro until he was 91. The "golf gene" was clearly passed down to my children. When they were old enough to walk and talk my father introduced them to the JOY of GOLF. To put it mildly, they are golf crazy. Then again once you play with balls you are bound to be nuts.

Since my children took a keen interest in the game and I married a man who is also in love with the sport I have once again tried to "attempt" playing golf. Here is my take on the pros and cons of this activity.

CON -  I see no significance in a game where the balls are so small

PRO & CON - Don't really love golf outfits but have managed to find some cute shorts and tops that are acceptable attire.

CON - I can't tolerate playing games with four people due to my low level patience meter and my Mrs. Giblon Syndrome.

CON - I don't like taking turns. Further to that, I prefer playing with myself ( uh, I mean playing by myself). Does this mean I am not a team player? No. I simply don't deal well with waiting.

PRO- The golf cart. I love the cart. Back in the day when my dad golfed, he did so for the experience of fresh air, exercise and the sport. He took his clubs, hooked them on a pull-cart and shlepped them for 5 hours up hills, valleys and through 18 grueling holes on the course. Here's where the patience factor comes in again. Give me the fastest way to get those 18 holes over and done with and I'm a happy golfer.  The truth is, real golfers walk, fake golfers ride in a cart. The cart is the first vehicle I ever drove without a licence with the exception of a shopping cart. If I had my way, I would drive a golf cart to work every day. I may have a Fred Flinstone complex.

PRO & CON - The Weather. Golf is not an indoor sport. Throughout my childhood I would always be told "it never rains on the golf course". "The weather was perfect there today". So why do they have giant sized golf umbrellas? I guess my father thought that the golf course was the most ideal place....heaven on earth. True golfers don't pay attention to weather anomalies. Judging from my golf techniques as a small girl, holding an umbrella while trying to swing at a ball that I'm already missing was a considerable handicap.

CON - The 18th hole. What's with so many holes? What's wrong with playing just 9? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT!!? I believe that the front nine was invented by a woman and the back nine by a man. Women are more in tune with front holes and men...well....give a man a few extra holes to find and they will attempt to play them. It takes way too much time to play 18 holes. The term "golf widow" didn't come from a woman who was left behind by her husband for hours at a came from the first woman who killed her husband for being AWAY from chores for hours at time.

PRO - Golf is guilt-free. It's a pleasure sport for both men and women. For men it means five hours away from it all. For us it means five hours to spend in the mall.

In order to "ease" my way back as a LPGA hopeful I have made a few cameo appearances at tournaments. Not as a player. Not as a spectator. I have come back to the tee box as a volunteer for charity events. My boss holds a tournament every year for Princess Margaret Hospital and the City runs the Mayors Golf Classic which takes place around a week afterwards.

In the past, I have been spotted on the following holes:

1. Vodka Shooters - 8
2. Vodka Shooters -  1
3. Water - 10
4. Ice Cream - 3
5. Popcorn - 5
6. Fruit - 6

This year for the PMH Tournament I was placed on the popcorn hole with my NBF Dorothy. I kept losing this woman because she was smaller than the bag of corn. I learned all about physics and nature that day. When you place 100 bags of popcorn in a paper box and put in on a table in the wind it blows over. I also learned when scooping spilled popcorn off the ground and putting it back into the tiny paper bags you have to check for blades of grass before you serve it. (We have now been banned from the popcorn hole for future tourneys)

At the Mayor's Golf Tournament held at Eagles Nest, my colleague and I were placed at the fresh fruit hole. We were driven out to hole 6. When I say we were driven......I mean we were DRIVEN. The trip was a long one. We were taken to the furthest hole from the clubhouse. The second we reached the area we would be spending the next 7 hours and we knew we were in for some fun. We were about to become a human buffet for a truckload of hungry mosquitoes. For some reason when two mosquitoes see me they look at each other and smile. "Ah, look Mel...waddya think of that one?" said Moshie the mosquito. "She looks good to me", said Mel. Like kamikaze flying objects, I soon became Mel and Moshie's main course for lunch.

Within 32 seconds of us setting up our chairs I was attacked. My left leg was bleeding, my right leg swelling up with welts and I called 911 (our tournament organizer). Just as I started to beg the Fire and Rescue team to take me away in their little red truck golf cart, I was handed a couple of DEET towellettes to wipe away any thoughts of hitching a ride off the island to go back where I the clubhouse. It was going to be a long day.

There were boxes upon endless boxes of farm fresh peaches, nectarines and plums to hand out to the golfers. We needed to come up with an idea to get rid of them quickly so that we could get us the hell out of the outdoor produce section of Eagles Nest. Alas! What better way to deplete the inventory than to EAT THE INVENTORY.

As the sun set and dusk fell upon hole number 6

And the last of the golfers had no more new tricks 

There lay two nauseous volunteers on the ground

Only flies and mosquitoes were making a sound

The volunteers searched for refuge but were left for dead

It's a good thing the blonde decided to use her head

Out came her thumb and waved it in the air

As a foursome of golfers were ready to share

Come Prancer, come Dancer, come Hither and Shmo

We hijacked their carts and were ready to go

We bid farewell to our fruit and leftover pits

and prayed that the overdose of fiber didn't give us the shits.

While I was back safe and sound at my desk, after completing my community volunteer hours, my husband was golfing with his baseball league team. The team is comprised of a bunch of pseudo Senior citizens with a zest for life and a multitude of internal joint injuries. As the saying goes...boys will be boys....and annually..... these guys will be idiots when they get together on a golf course and we're not there to supervise.  Their actions are similar to a Frat House freak show, they initiate one player every year and get them to drink to the point of not being able to distinguish their clubs from their balls.

So as I am working hard to ensure that the constituents of our municipality are well taken care of... my phone rings. Recognizing the number on my call display, here's how the conversation goes:

"Hello", I answer hurriedly.

"Hi huh nee", says the slightly inebriated Steve.

"Hi,what's up"?, I ask.

"Hi huh nee", says the now more intoxicated Steve

"Steve, are you okay"?, I ask.

"Hi huh nee", the annoying voice on the other end of the line says.

"okay, dear...have a nice time with your friends and call me after you finish playing", I say.

"okaaaay...bye bye", he says.

He called me three times in the next 20 minutes trying to engage in the exact same conversation. When his number came up for the fourth time I let it cue into my voicemail. Here's the message he left me.

"Hi hun ee bunny.....(silence).... I'm having fun..(more silence)...FOOF it's hot out here..(even more silence)...okayah...( once again SILENCE).....later". CLICK.

And that is when I made a conscious decision. My husband obviously cannot be left unattended. So once again, I am taking up golf...whether I like it or not.

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