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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Golf - The Great Escape

Golf is a great escape.  Bobby Jones talked about how the game held such appeal for "men of affairs" because it provided an escape from those affairs of life that can really weigh you down.  For those four hours in which you find yourself struggling against Old Man Par it is almost impossible to worry about your troubles.  It's great therapy.

I woke up today and, having struggled through the last few rounds with my back, decided to follow my wife's advice and listen to my body.  I'm skipping my morning game with Carl the Grinder and Billy.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is awfully weak.  However, Steve has a game booked for 2:30, so I may not listen to this old body all day.  I was so disgusted with my putting yesterday that I took to putting with my wedge for the last twelve holes and putted pretty well.  That has given me a ray of hope that makes we want to get back out there and see if I can find a little magic on the greens.

Billy asked if I had a four and five wood kicking around that he might try.  He's been struggling with a couple of hybrids, and, like me, can't "get it up" with them.  It's the curse of being a couple of round-bellied, old guys; those high, towering shots are no longer in the arsenal--if indeed they ever really were.  The older we get, the better we used to be.  I don't know what it is about the hybrid clubs, but Billy and I both hit low bullets with them, even though they're supposed to help you get the ball airborne.  Carl has a Callaway two hybrid that he hits way up in the air.  But Carl is an enigma.  He's seventy two and he can still get the ball way up and out there.

I brought Billy three Callaway woods that I had retired in favour of my Cleveland 22 and 25 degree fairway woods; a four, five, and seven wood.  They are getting to be antiques, but he used them yesterday with some promising results and happily traded me the two Taylormade hybrids, which will either collect dust or be passed on to someone younger, stronger, and more able to "get it up."  I must admit, seeing Billy hit those woods up in the air made me just as happy as he was.  I hope they keep working for him.  

Fortunately, for me, the biggest worry I currently have is my putting.  I can either focus on that, or I can think about the latest school shooting, or the eight year old girl in Tennessee that I just read about, who was shot and killed by the eleven year old boy next door with his father's shotgun.  The reason?  She wouldn't show him her new puppy.  She was the 559th child under 11 killed or injured by a firearm in the US this year.  I can worry about my putting instead of the troubles in Syria, or Afghanistan that neither I, nor anyone else for that matter, can seem to do much about.  

Golf can be a great escape.  And for "men of affairs," like President Obama, perhaps we shouldn't begrudge him a regular round of golf.  Heaven knows, he, and other men like him, who have real worries and responsibilities, need some time on the links to worry about something a little less important; like their slice, or their chipping.