Gentle Humor

I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Category: Golf

The Injustice of Ladies Golf

If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. I played in a golf tournament today. I realize that the word “tournament” makes me sound like a “real” golfer, but nothing could be further from the truth. Women like me get together in what we call “9-hole groups” because we are either (a) too lazy to play all 18 holes or (b) too lousy to play all 18 holes. These women engage in what we call “Hits and Giggles.”

To make things interesting, we create little “tournaments” for ourselves. These are merely excuses to get a bunch of women together for socializing, eating, drinking, and winning prizes. Yes, we do hit balls, but the nature of these tournaments is to get the competition over as quickly as possible so we can get to the lemon drops and buffet table. Thus we play “Scrambles,” which I suspect were invented by a male golfer to herd women through 9 holes quickly so that the real golfers (men) can have the course back.

The male golf pros put us together in teams of four of varying abilities (from bad golfer to really bad golfer). All four women hit their balls, which makes the pros buckle to the ground clutching their privates. (Snicker). Then the ladies hit their own golf balls. The ball that goes furthest without landing in the water is the one that all four women get to place their balls beside and hit from there. Everyone hits again, they walk to the best ball, and all hit from there until they finally get the ball onto the green and into the cup. Some lucky teams manage to par a hole here and there, and they usually win the tournament.

Today my team had two very bossy women who were driving me and the 4th team member nuts. The 4th team member, Pat, was 81 years old and wasn’t about to be bossed around by some 50 year old whipper snapper. Things got testy. When Karen started giving Pat advice, Pat snapped, “Who’s hitting this ball, you or me?” It was a tense moment, but luckily Karen backed up and said, “Whoa. Have at it,” and bloodshed was avoided.

Despite the barrage of advice (you can always tell an “amateur” golfer because they love to give advice to everyone even as their own balls ricochet off trees and hop from sand trap to sand trap. One of these days I’m going to slap one of them – I came this close to doing it this morning).

We managed to finish without snatching each other’s hair out and actually started having a good time once Pat and I stopped pouting. We joined all the other ladies in the dining room and anticipated the awards. They give prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. We waited to see if our names were called but they weren’t. I wasn’t really expecting it, but our game didn’t totally suck and I thought we might come in third. It’s hard to tell when they figure in the handicaps how your score will stack up against the others.

Are you sick of golf? Just bear with me for a couple more minutes and I’ll wrap this puppy up.

After everyone got their prizes and the raffle prizes were awarded, I ended up with zip. I said to my teammates, “I used to win a raffle prize every single time but lately I haven’t won diddly.”

“What would you do with diddly if you won it?” Pat asked. She’s one sharp 81 year old woman.

“I bet we came in 4th,” I said, lacking a clever comeback, as usual. “Probably just one point off the money.”

“Let’s go see,” Karen said. “The board is over there.” I hadn’t noticed the board, which the golf pro had written all our scores on. Many of the women had already gotten up and left – anxious to get to their soaps. The four of us filed over to the board and looked for our score. “23.7” Karen said.

“What was the winning score?” I asked.

“23.9,” Wendy said.

I’m looking at that and thinking, “Hmmm, now in golf the goal is to get the LOWEST score, and isn’t 23.7 lower than 23.9?” I said this out loud.

“Yes, it is lower,” Karen said. “We should have been the winners!”

“Oh my gosh, how did they screw that up? We won and nobody even noticed?”

We called the two ladies who planned the tournament over and showed them the numbers. They both raised their hands to their mouths and said, “Oh my. There’s been a terrible mistake. What can we do?”

The answer to that was obvious. We split up right now and run out to the parking lot and snatch our winnings off of those other women. We throw pies in the face of the golf pro who made the mistake. And we sue the place for whatever reason an ambulance chaser can come up with like wrongful neglect of proper scoring, mens rea and gluteus maximus ad infinitum.

This is what I was saying in my heart, but since golf is a genteel sport, we all said, “Oh it’s okay, we’re just happy we won, don’t think anything of it,” and other assorted BS that none of us meant. We came away empty handed without a shred of glory.

There is no justice in this world, or my luck is so bad that I can’t win even when I do win. Pitiful.

A Day at the Driving Range

Today I went to the driving range to practice golf for an hour and a half, and oh the things I saw.

One young girl must have been dropped off by her parents for a lesson. As soon as the pro got done with her, she hit three or four balls that barely cleared the mat she was standing on and then sat down on a nearby bench and started texting. I found it curious that someone at the driving range, after forking over $75+ for a private golf lesson, would spend her time holding a cell phone rather than a golf club. She sat on a bench for an hour without taking another swing, and then ambled away, walking like a zombie staring down at the phone in her hand.

Then I noticed a guy sitting on a far away bench talking on his phone. I thought he was waiting for his golf partner to show up or something. All of a sudden he broke into a country music song. He wasn’t just singing to himself, he was belting out soulful lyrics like, “You left me all alone, now all I’ve got’s a cell phone” or some such.

While this Kenny Chesney wannabe was belting the song out to a cell phone, none of us on the driving range said anything, but I was getting pretty irritated, and not just because my balls were going everywhere except where I aimed them. The guy’s voice wasn’t bad, but I dislike country music. And that didn’t annoy me as much as the idea that he was singing to a cell phone. Who was on the other end?

It went on for over a half hour, and I’m not exaggerating. I don’t know if he was singing the same song or what – it all sounds the same to me. As much as the noise was distracting, I was more preoccupied thinking of WHO he was singing to, and WHY. Someone who dumped him? But if she dumped him, she surely wouldn’t stay on the phone all that time listening to him wailing out his sorrows. Maybe he was really some country music star and had just written some songs for a new CD and was singing it over the cell phone so his record company could get the musicians lined up to make a new record. I mean, what on earth would possess an adult male to sit on a golf course bench and sing at the top of his lungs?

But the oddest thing I saw  was a guy on the golf course riding one of those Seqway’s. It’s a one-person vehicle that seems to be built for people who prefer to keep their calories stored up around their belly rather than burning them off walking. This man on the golf course was standing on the unit, his belly hanging over the handle, rolling up to his golf ball while the other three guys he was playing with were walking, and not anywhere close to him, I might add. Why couldn’t he just use a golf cart?

I’m starting to sound like a curmudgeon who resents new-fangled gadgets that detract from the established way of doing things. Well, so what! I think idiots should leave their cell phones, Segways, and nasal country voices at home when they come to the golf course. Where is the decorum these days?

If God had wanted us to behave this way, he would have given us a Bluetooth for an ear and wheels instead of legs.

Here’s the lyric I’m going to sing next time these people start annoying me – sung in a whining voice like all country songs:

If you came here to play

Put your cell phone away

How can you sit there and sing?

When it’s messin’ with my swing?

You ridin’ that Segway’s just showin’ off

That you ain’t go no damn business playin’ golf

Chorus:

If I have to plant my club in your head

Give you a lump that turns all red

To make you straighten up and act right

Then I’m just itchin’ to start that fight.

Texting Is Making Me Testy

I was randomly placed on a team today for a golf tournament with a couple of women who I vaguely knew but who seemed to be pretty nice. I figured we’d have hits and giggles, and talk about important current events like who got kicked off of Dancing with the Stars last night. For the first couple of holes, we exchanged pleasantries and learned we had a few things in common: mainly that we weren’t the best golfers in the world and the men in our lives were buffoons.

Then I noticed one of the ladies, I’ll call her Pecker to protect her identity, was pecking away at her iPhone, pushing her golf cart along with her stomach and working those fingers like a concert pianist. That left 50% of the women for me to talk to, which was okay except I turned around to let her catch up, and she was doing the same friggin’ thing.

It started raining about that time, which is par for the course because as they say, when it rains it pours, and (here comes another cliché), this was certainly icing on the cake. It’s hardly fair to be ignored AND drenched at the same time.  Pecker and Texttrix single-handedly put their umbrellas on their push carts to protect their electronic idols without missing a beat, and moseyed along mute, while I mumbled to myself as I hit balls into mud puddles, gulleys, sand traps, and bird’s nests, because it’s hard to hit straight when you’re cranky.

Sixteen more holes of this I endured, and I was already pre-disposed to frustration because I’ve had a belly full of texters at movie theaters, in the car with teenagers, in church, in the library, in restaurants.  It’s pervasive, it’s annoying, and it’s down right rude.

But it is pretty fun, all things considered. My kids will not answer a ringing phone, but they’ll respond immediately to a text. Plus you don’t have all that down time like on a phone where you have to make polite conversation while wanting just to ask a simple question and hang up.

But on the golf course? For four hours? Come on! I ask you, is no place sacred? What is this world coming to? Goodness gracious! If I ever get my hands on one of those iPhones, I tell you what’s the honest truth, I’d be a pretty happy gal. You’d have to call me Cranktrix, because I’d be cranking out the emails. Whoo-whee!

Copyright © 2017 by Suzanne Olsen