Sunday, September 30, 2007

Goons in the Mist

Saturday saw the end of my golfing this year. It was quite a bit of fun although it still seems a shame to spend that much money on a game I don't really like. The fun in my golfing is the time outdoors with friends and family. This trip was for my Dad. Of course, the big doufas Jay came along and that always adds the entertainment only a 40 year old teenager can supply.

We played at Shawnee Golf Resort down along the Ohio river and the morning was freaking foggy... (thanks in no small part to the river itself). I, of course, just thought it was a cloud of pain and gloom drifting on the wind from the greater Portsmouth area. My father advised otherwise. Anyhow, check out this level of visibility.

I have to admit I am not much of a golfer to begin with and the lack of visibility did nothing to improve things. What I can say about golf, after 20 years of struggling to get why someone would do it, is that I don't get it. What a silly game. Given my recent state of mind I've decided to be done with it for a while. Add to that my motives for playing the first time, it was not an easy decision. Granted I said I was done for the year but to make the point more real or concrete I am thinking of selling my beloved Titleist irons. (More money for other things that don't cost money just to be frustrated...)

I took up this stupid game when I was 21. After drinking my way out of college and finding a way to make a living driving a truck, I decided I needed some form of recreation in the summer. Golf seemed a logical choice given my grandfathers' and fathers enjoyment of the game. (Family time has always been a good thing for me...)

My first set of clubs was McGregor Nicklaus Master irons and Ben Hogan persimmon woods. These guys were old when I got them in the late 80's but still played good enough for a guy who couldn't swing the club. My Dad paid for them and seemed really glad to do so. Playing golf, it seemed, might be a connection point and he was happy about that and so was I. It's been a downhill run since then.

My Dad is my perennial playing partner. In the last 3 years and 3 months I have played golf a total of 5 times and all with my father. Now that I am quite a bit older than when I started and I am well clear of the insane world of single, not quite adult living, aching for social acceptance, or just trying to be one of the guys I can see that this was a good thing. When there was nothing else to talk about or do, golf worked for us. It's a easy to have a laugh when somebody shanks a ball (usually me)and nearly clips the other guy (usually him) by accident... Jokes ensue and for while things are all workable. Now, as we are both starting to grey a bit more, we don't need to do this just to hang out. We are just as apt to watch football (other sordid and low pastime but this one costs nothing and provides no real frustration for me as I simply do not care about it :-) or try to solve his raccoon problem as anything else. He really enjoys the game. I just don't.

You know you're in trouble when you think of an activity in terms of genuine assholes who do it regularly. My mother tells me this is the easiest way to miss the good stuff. (If you let other people drive you away then the assholes get more, I am told...) In this case, I disagree. Golf easily maintains the highest per capita asshole ratio of any game I have ever played. It is the only recreational activity in my life to make me swear to never do it again with at least 4 people that I know and like otherwise. Some are even family. How sad is that?

To all of you out there, struggling with your own 'really competitive spirit' and your lack of ability to hit it big and just retire early, give it up. You're an average person. You 'could not have been Tiger if your dad had just worked with you more...' and not wanting to 'work to improve your game' does not mean there is a some fundamental flaw in character. There are plenty of good guys who have never broken 90. It's time to just enjoy it and stop 'working' on it. It's just a game and a silly one at that.... Let it go. I have. :-)

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