The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Did anyone see where my ball went?

Golf is not my only passion but it is high up on my list of pleasures. Which is odd in a way since it is very frustrating for most of us amateurs. They tell me that only about 20% of amateurs break 90 (only 6% of women) on a regular basis. I don't know who "they" are so I don't know how true that is. But it puts me in that 20%.

It's frustrating because it seems like such an easy game. The ball is not moving when you try to hit it, for example. The fairways aren't all that narrow (though it sometimes seems that way) and the hole into which we try to put the ball is 2 and 1/2 times as wide.

The problem is that there is also plenty of room for mistakes. If the face of a club is a half degree open or closed when it strikes the ball, the ball could go twenty or more (usually more) yards to one side or the other. A half degree to the right or left off the putter and the ball could miss the hole by several feet on a long putt.

If you watch the pros, you understand how the game should be played. Most of these started playing at a very early age. Tiger Woods, for example, was already playing well when he was 5 years old. By the time he was ten, he was better than I am after 25 years of playing. The pros have a consistent swing and swing speed. Amateurs have swings that vary wildly in speed and shape. Well, the best amateurs approach the consistency of the pros but the average amateur? Nowhere near.

So we amateurs set our goals much lower. And we congratulate ourselves for shots that are just plain luck. What else can we do? Admit we had no idea what we did or how we did it? Not out loud, we won't. Heck, we say "great shot!" when one of us actually hits the ball anywhere near where it was intended.

Some of my golf buddies think I am a very good putter. I'm not. I actually am a poor putter. I have never really figured out how to read a green. It's just a guess on my part. But I get lucky a fair amount of time. And I am not averse to taking credit.

I have joined a group of golfers on Wednesdays at a nearby course who play at about the level I do. They are nice guys; pleasant, retired, winter residents. It's a no pressure game. The only gambling we've done is for quarters for closest to the pin on the par 3 holes. This week, only one of us even hit a green on just one of the four par 3's. No one hit the greens of the other three. And these are short holes; none are over 135 yards.

So, yes, it's a frustrating game. But so is life.


Manofroma said...

Golf is one thing I would (and will) never try. It is becoming
fashionable here but only among snobs, would-be something etc. One
additional reason for staying out of it. I know that in the US or in
other English speaking countries it is a popular game in the literal
sense of the word. So probably if I lived there I would play it or at
least give it a try.

Douglas4517 said...

As it once was here and, I suspect in the British Isles. Here, it was seen as a rich man's game with limited access through country clubs. Then came what are called public courses and more people began playing it. Still a game for those with money (the initial outlay for clubs being expensive), it has taken a long time to become as popular as it is today.