A Little Golf
Golfers are an odd lot. Everyone knows it. Yet most middle and upper-class men, and many women flock to formerly useful farms and pastures to be numbered among those odd-balls a few times a week.
Where else would you see a cut-throat venture capitalist get out of his Mercedes convertible equipped with the latest Blaupunkt to drive a batmobile cart with a jet afterburner in the back.
Or the staid, dignified banker, with her pinstripes and Rolex become a cross between Hippie Barbie and a stain glass window?
I've come to the opinion that the oddness is meant to appease the deities of the game. Hubris is the bait that brings lightning bolts from Olympus (or Valhalla,) and it's hard to accuse a fellow in knickers and a pink shirt of being too proud.
Of course the spiked shoes might not please the worm gods. That might explain why a tiny white ball will so often avoid 30,000 square yards of perfectly solid, grass-clad turf and instead come to rest in the only tiny-ball-sized divot on the entire fairway.
In golf, the little things mean a lot - the ball, the tee, the pencil cut down to a third of its normal length just to fit the theme. This might be why so many golfers don't say, "I'm off to play golf," and certainly never say, "I'm off to play a lot of golf," but rather say, "I'm off to play a little golf."
Shouldn't little golf include things like a windmill, or a volcano?
"No," says the golfer. "That's miniature golf. A little golf is 18 stretches of land large enough to accommodate the Vatican - distances so vast that a cart must be employed to avoid the onset of physical fitness."
The carts, as much as the clothing, show the priorities of the golfer. You have the impatient golfer who customizes his cart to gain the right-of-way.
The romantic golfer, who in spite of his deep passion for his bride, cannot for a moment abandon his true first love.
The man-child golfer who waxes nostalgic for his first Big Wheel.
The holiday golfer, who, though he abandons his children the moment the presents are unwrapped, does not wish to be accused of lacking the spirit of the season.
The obsessive golfer who spends so much time in his cart that he's forgotten where he lives.
And the ever-hopeful golfer, who deludes himself into thinking that by customizing his cart he can convince karma to let hopeless causes win out.
For me, the only attraction is the opportunity hit carefully manicured lawns with an iron bladed stick and rip out long strips of turf that cost a gathering of millionaires thousands of dollars to plant and maintain.
It's almost like a martial art.
This explains two things - why I like to use my seven iron on the green, and why I'm rarely invited to play any given course a second time. They particularly hate my 37 practice swings per shot when I hack away at their landscape without putting down a ball to hit.
These pros apparently didn't appease the gods.