Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bob Is A Golfer

I am not A Golfer. I love to play the game. I prefer to carry my sticks around the course, and I don't cheat. I even practice. But I am a golfer, not A Golfer.

I can explain the distinction with an example. Two of my buddies and I headed to a nearby muni today. As we were warming up on the first tee, the starter waved a fourth player into our group. Howdy ‘n shake revealed that Bob was a 70ish retiree who played there often.

Bob had a lovely swing… in practice. He released his right side well, and rotated around a tall left leg. Other than having stiffness issues common to us all on the Back Nine of Life, Bob took a pretty nice swipe at the ball… in practice. But when it came to actually smacking the ball, Bob had one of the most pitiful reverse pivots I’ve ever seen. His weight shifted with a wobble onto his right foot, and the left one often left the ground. Please understand that I am not criticizing Bob or his technique, as he was a hail fellow well met; I’m simply describing the business end of his long game.

On the seventh tee, Bob “cracked” a drive about 100 yards at a 30 degree angle to the right. At least this tee ball was airborne. It was headed for either a dunking in a wet ditch or the out of bounds stakes protecting the adjacent suburban back yards. Bob seemed doomed to lose one stroke unless he lost two. But his ball somehow found the only tree in the vicinity, pin balled noisily in its branches, and then miraculously pitched safely into the light rough just off the fairway. With disaster averted, we all gave Bob a grin and started walking toward his ball. When he got there, he ruefully examined ball and lie. After cursing the golfing gods and his rotten luck, he then muttered sourly that he'd be lying in the damn fairway if that dumb ball had just kicked another 6 feet left.

A Golfer sees only the half empty part of a half full glass.