Golf in the Coronavirus Era

While golf (or the lack thereof) is the least of anyone’s problems right now, golf is my therapy, my alone time, my passion, my gym.  Of course, I could survive without it, but I’d be miserable.  So, to all the golf courses that have remained open, having gone to great lengths to do so… THANK YOU!!!  You are my lifeline to sanity.

Not shaking anyone’s hand after the round

Golf courses’ staff have been brilliant in how they’re keeping us (and themselves) safe.  I can play a round of golf 100% socially-distanced.

I get to the pro shop and the door to it is kept wide open so I don’t have to touch the handle.  There’s a notice that players line up 6 feet apart to pay, and we do.  If I use a credit card, the pro, who’s wearing a facemask, gives […]

Golf in the Coronavirus Era2020-04-08T12:20:30-04:00

Playing a Highfalutin’ Course, When You’re Lowfalutin’ Me

Rolls Royce canstockphoto12174292 (1)I think I speak for every public golfer – I love playing exclusive golf courses.  For us, getting out on these gems is a wonderful treat.

But exclusive courses can be a minefield of gaffes for a public course hack like me.  Just parking my car poses a problem. Once, I was pulling into a parking space when I noticed every single car around me was a Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar … geees, is that a Rolls?  I parked my ten-year old Subaru down the hill in the secondary lot.

Then there’s the “only change your golf shoes in the locker room like you have some class” rule.  If this were a public course, I’d put my golf shoes on in my car like everyone else (once I was so lazy I actually left my house in my spikes).  But not at the […]

Playing a Highfalutin’ Course, When You’re Lowfalutin’ Me2019-04-28T10:10:04-04:00

Hezbollah and Me

DOHAQatarArabGamesGolferYasminaAl-SharshaniShotsWomensindividualGolfCompetition-2In 2010, I visited Lebanon, my ancestral homeland – where, shockingly, there’s a golf course!  Who knew?  I mean, Lebanon – it just doesn’t scream golf.  It screams hummus and grape leaves, and maybe bombs, but golf?

But yes, indeed, in 1923 the Golf Club of Lebanon was opened right in the heart of Beirut, and I couldn’t resist playing it.

Just getting to the course was an adventure.  The cab driver spoke very little English and while I know a lot of Arabic words, they’re almost all food and curses.  But after a few animated swings and repeating the word “golf,” we made it to the course.

Was I expecting a beautiful masonry welcome gate here in Beirut?  No. But I also wasn’t expecting the army check-point gate either… complete with a guard!  The driver said something to the guard in Arabic (I’m […]

Hezbollah and Me2019-04-28T10:19:30-04:00

Gratitude – Happy Thanksgiving

I finished the 15th hole of a course down in Florida this past Thanksgiving week and there were two maintenance workers working hard in the heat.  I often say hello to maintenance workers.  I’m sure they couldn’t care less about me, but they work really hard so I can have fun, and it just doesn’t feel right to walk by and ignore them.  I assumed (correctly) that they were Hispanic and said, “Buenos días.”  They smiled and responded, “Buenos días.”

While walking away I had an interesting thought:  out of the 7.6 billion people in the world, the three of us took actions in our lives that brought us together to this exact same place at this exact same moment.  But then I thought: we couldn’t have had more different paths.

I assume their original homeland didn’t have enough work for them to […]

Gratitude – Happy Thanksgiving2019-04-28T10:51:51-04:00

Who’ll Show Up To Play Today?

Remember the Patty Duke show?  Patty was the lead role, but then her “identical cousin” Cathy would appear out of nowhere.

That’s how I feel on the golf course.  Sometimes I look like someone who’s played golf before.  I’m not a great player, but it’s clear I’ve played before.

But then this BI&T$#CH “cousin” Cathy shows up – unwelcomed, uninvited and possibly high on drugs – and takes over my golf game.  She can’t even hold a club properly.  Her takeaway is bad, she has no follow-through, and she can’t chip or putt.  I hate her!

And she doesn’t just show up between rounds, sometimes she takes over in the middle of a round!  I had one round going where I was 2 over par after 9 holes.   I’m thinking I can break 80.  […]

Who’ll Show Up To Play Today?2019-04-28T10:55:03-04:00

Then Vs. Now

Louise SuggsI was very sad to learn that Louise Suggs passed away on Friday.   I’ve been a fan of the LPGA since I started playing golf and Ms. Suggs’ legacy, as a feisty competitor and quick-witted personality, is legendary.  But it’s not her golf I’ll miss – there’s great golf today – it’s her personality.  Players today just don’t seem to have the same spontaneity and, well, fun.

Ms. Suggs once said:  “Golf is very much like a love affair – if you don’t take it seriously, it’s no fun. But if you do, it breaks your heart.”   Today’s LPGA players are great, but I just can’t picture any of them saying something like this.

Maybe today’s players are just products of their times.  They seem to be unable to take golf seriously AND have fun.  They have “peeps” that manage them, they […]

Then Vs. Now2019-04-28T11:13:46-04:00

“Friendly” Matches

RecoloredCroppedThey’re called “friendly” matches but they’re not always so friendly.

I was playing a match with Barbara as my teammate against Beth and Ann.  It was all square (tied) until I won the 4th hole by shooting a 5 when the three of them all shot sixes.  But Beth said she shot a 5, too.

Uh oh – there was no question she shot a 6.

In the most non-confrontational way I could muster, I asked, “Beth, are you sure you shot a 5?”  Apparently, she didn’t like being second-guessed.  “Yes”, she fired back.  “I shot a 5!”

CROSSROADS!   Do I let it go or do I pursue it?

Maybe you’re like me – I have two little women who stand, one on each shoulder, telling me what to do:

Left-shoulder womanYou won the hole fair and square, Patty, don’t let her intimidate […]

“Friendly” Matches2019-04-30T19:32:11-04:00

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s…

Steep-bunker-face-beforeMy all-time favorite golf story – I hope my writing does it justice.  And note:  names have been changed to protect the guilty – you know who you are.

Bob, two other friends and I were on the 18th hole of the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park.  Bob had a difficult 50-yard approach shot up a hill and over a very steep greenside bunker.  But Bob has a great short game.  Confidently, he looked up at the green, then back at the ball.  Again, up at the green, back at the ball.  Then one last time up at the green, and there it was…

A car!  And no small Toyota or Honda – it was a huge 1970s Impala, or something like that.  And it was coming over the hill and down the cart path straight at Bob.

It all happened so fast.  […]

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s…2019-04-28T16:58:13-04:00

The Lexi Thompson Controversy:  I’m stunned

The Lexi Thompson controversy is shocking to me.

It was a pretty big golf story so I’m guessing you heard about it:  after marking her ball, Thompson replaced it in a different spot.  The LPGA was alerted to the infraction by a TV viewer a day after it happened.  LPGA Rules Officials reviewed the video tape and ended up assessing a heavy penalty which cost Thompson the coveted championship.

I was at the course when the news broke.  Fans were outraged at LPGA Rules officials.  People were screaming, “They screwed her,” and “They stole this from her!”  Given their reaction, I wondered if Thompson had replaced her ball just a blade of grass from the correct spot and some viewer, some trigonometry buff using signs and cosigns, had calculated a 1/100th of an inch breach.

As Warner Wolf used to say… let’s go to […]

The Lexi Thompson Controversy:  I’m stunned2019-04-28T12:05:58-04:00

I’m Not Kicking the Bucket Bucket List – Pebble Beach

In a bizarre coincidence, I played all four of my top Bucket List courses in 2015.  This is Part 3 in the series “I’m Not Kicking the Bucket Bucket List.”

Pebble BeachSandra had a milestone birthday – her 30th.  Not!  But she’d kill me if I gave her real age.  So she, some great golfing friends and I went to her #1 (and my #3) Bucket List course, Pebble Beach.

Sandra and I roomed together.  Remember The Odd Couple?  She would spend 20 minutes doing her hair, I’d put on a baseball cap.  She would try on three different outfits, I’d remember to wear a belt.  She showered before AND after golf.  Are you kidding me?

Sandra was the best roommate, I was the worst.  On the first day of our 5-day trip, I pulled out my back.  And if enduring back pain […]

I’m Not Kicking the Bucket Bucket List – Pebble Beach2019-04-28T10:48:40-04:00