Posted by: penpatience | June 1, 2015

THE 19TH HOLE

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Writers Words: Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch course, the space between your ears. – Bobby Jones

JUNE 2015 MONTHLY MUSING

THE 19TH HOLE

Why do golfers play golf?

I’ve asked myself that question many times over the past six years. Think about it. A very small ball, usually white, is hit off a small piece of wood (a tee) with various sized, odd-shaped tools (golf clubs). Basically, a golfer has to drive that small ball a long distance hoping it lands close to a small hole avoiding hazards along the way—water, sand traps, trees, birds, and absent-minded golfers standing inside the line of fire.

“FORE” is an oft heard word every new golfer learns from the very first game. Golf is an all weather sport–exception six to eight inches of snow cover. Golfers are dedicated souls; they play in wind, rain, drizzle, sleet, ninety degree hot sun, humidity, and forty degree late fall chill. I recall a game or two where I’ve left the course with hair plastered to my scalp like a wet kitchen mop, my golf shirt plastered to my dripping, sweating body in Floridian high humidity and fingers semi-frozen from a forty degree early spring morning in upstate New York. And yet, there are golfers who indicate they play golf for exercise and love of the outdoors. Tsk!. Tsk!  I don’t believe those little white lies. Golf is a competitive sport like many others.

Whether you’re a professional, amateur, senior, or Sunday duffer, golfers all have competitive natures in various degrees. It’s uplifting to par a difficult hole while a buddy is fishing in the water, or logging a double bogey. And somewhere in our heart of hearts, we all pray for that elusive “hole in one.” I have yet to get one, but I’m proud to say, I’ve know a few women in leagues where I’ve played that have. I genuinely share in their well-earned euphoria—a job very well done!!!

So why do golfers have this ongoing passion for golf despite the many frustrations, weather conditions, biting insects and sweat pouring off sun-burned brows.  It’s simple. It’s because we love the game.  It’s because we have a passion for golf that refuses to die. There are good days on the course when one great shot makes up for two bad attempts in a sand trap; an unexpected birdie on a hole that began with a mediocre drive and a long putt that fell into the hole like it was magnetized. And we cannot forget the last and special “19th hole.”

The 19th hole is one of the best holes played in golf. Over a drink or libation of choice, congrats are shared over great shots and empathy and a few laughs over the abominable “miss-hits.” Tales of other games, favorite courses, and golf jokes abound. Here’s one for you:

“An Irish priest on holiday in South Africa sliced his tee-shot into jungle country and after some search found his ball—guarded by a huge lion. Falling to his knees the priest began to pray and to his amazement the lion followed suit. “Heaven be praised,” exclaimed the priest. A practicing Christian lion.” “QUIET, roared the lion, “while I’m saying grace.” – Tom Scott and Geoffrey Cousins from “The Wit of Golf.

To all my reader and writer friends: Golf is a great method to combat writer’s block. Also, check out E.P. Ned Burke’s publication: www.magazette.com/golf  for an informative and fun read.

To all my golfing friends:  On a rainy day, check out Carl Hiassen’s hilarious golfing book, “The Downhill Lie.” See you on the course!

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Responses

  1. Nice piece. You covered it all. A true golfer

    Like

    • ah, but that elusive “hole in one….”

      Like


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