It Will Drive You To Drink
From O’magadh© by Marty Duncan
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      There is a sport wherein the overly zealous player may acquire delusions and may drive himself to distraction trying to achieve perfection. The sport is dangerous. If you begin to take yourself seriously, you are taking the first steps down the road to perdition. Let me try to explain.
      Golf is a strange activity where grown men (and women) go for leisurely walks in a manicured cow pasture. Every fifteen minutes or so they meet on a flat green area and provide alibis about why they detoured through the trees. Then they play pasture pool, hitting a small white ball with an iron club into a hole.
       Someone comes around and plants a flag in the flat green area. This tells the players where to congregate. After they have held 18 such meetings, they are allowed to meet in the clubhouse, where they expend more time drinking and telling lies about their tour of the pasture.
       What was once a leisurely walk has changed …the men now chase each other across the pasture in miniature cars, which helps them to catch up to the little white balls they are beating with oversized clubs. Beginners refer to themselves as ‘duffers’, which appears to mean they can’t stay out of the trees. Veterans are called ‘sandbaggers’ who post high scores only until someone makes a bet on the game (Think about that!)
       Golf becomes dangerous when the ‘duffer’ starts to swing the club with style. This leads to pretensions of perfection. Suddenly the ‘duffer’ thinks he is Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, able to smack the ball over trees with his ‘niblik’. Now the game gets serious. Other golfers begin to compare scores.
       At this point, these serious ‘duffers’ will routinely submit the number of little white balls they hit to the Great Computer and monthly they will receive a license. With their license in hand they will stage legalized assaults …where they chase all over the course and then compare ‘scores’. That is called a tournament. Six hundred years ago a tournament meant two men on horseback trying to mash each other with a long wooden club. In those days, the players wore armor. These days players drive the armor and use a mashie (3-wood) to bash a ball.
       The game has a second name. You will hear grown men use the name when a good shot slices out-of-bounds or hits a tree. It’s that two word name, ‘Oh, s**t!’ These words are cast into the ether in hopes of placating the gods of golf. It is the gods who desire that men sacrifice little white balls into water hazards or the impenetrable dark rough, also called the ‘tough.’ These same gods will tease a golfer with a round in which almost every swing is perfect. Now is the time to be careful. Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect round. Do not fool yourself. If you do, the gods will frown on your efforts, send your ball into the water and drive you to drink whiskey.

Be good, wave to a neighbor and cherish your children.

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