“They’re for sale if you want them.” (Ben Kenobi)
I once had a 50 yard drive with one of my clubs, and, by one of my clubs, I mean one of my clubs actually flew 50 yards. I stood there for a minute looking at the ball still sitting serenely on my tee and asked the guys if they minded if I put the ball where my club lay 50 yards away in the middle of the fairway and hit from there. It was my best drive of the day. It’s not like I’m a terrible golfer and I never throw a club in anger (break them across my knee on occasion, but never throw them), it’s just that I’m way too cheap to buy nice clubs (or new grips) and so I often find myself in these awkward situations on the course.
Don’t get me wrong – I would love a new set of clubs, but the Dream Crusher has this crazy idea that the kids need to eat and so we (meaning her) have always chosen food for the kids over new golf clubs for me. Maybe in a few years when we finally decide to cut the cord I’ll be able to buy a new set of clubs, but until we do, I’m stuck with having to cobble together a set of clubs from the area pawn shops and the drug dealers. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much since I often feel like the addict venturing into the inner city to try and score a hit without spending a fortune doing it. “Hey buddy, wanna buy a wedge?”
Maybe I’m so bad at golf because I have never bought a new club and have only purchased other people’s rejects out of the “used and abused” bins at Goodwill. For me it’s like walking into the Humane Society and seeing all those sad faces staring at me and knowing that I will be walking out with the St Bernard- Dachshund mix that nobody wants.
To say that my bag is filled with rejects from the land of misfit toys would be an understatement. It is stuffed with every infomercial reject known to the golfing world and looks like something that the Vietcong would use to make man traps. My clubs are all different lengths and they stick out at odd angles because my bag has lost its shape. Many of the clubs don’t reach the bottom when I shove them in after a shot and two or three are always sticking out above the cart and in danger of being ripped of by low hanging limbs.
The real problem is that I’m a sucker for new innovations, but am relegated to old technology with awesome sounding names that make you think that the next swing will launch a gargantuan drive. I want space tourism, but am stuck with Apollo 1 technology (burned up on the launch pad). I want a Ferrari, but have to settle for a Desoto (defunct). My clubs are like a testament to all that’s wrong with golf and the history of trying to hit a little white ball straight.
My golf bag does ooze with chest thumping masculinity and virility though. When I pull clubs named Burner, Tornado, Big Fire, Launcher, Blaze, Jumbo and Krank out of my bag I feel like I’m about to drive the ball 600 yards using a member of the WWF. Is it any wonder my sphincter tightens and I tense up like a hammer thrower about to launch a 50 pound weight down the field with the force of a canon every time I address the ball?
NB: Did you know that a whiff actually counts as a stroke and hurts worse than getting hit by a linebacker? There is something very humbling in trying to explain to the wife why I can’t mow the yard because I hurt myself playing golf. She’s educated and so I haven’t been able to convince her that golf is actually a contact sport and that I hurt my back when the guy in my cart clipped me from behind during my follow through.
Someone once said that golf is like a walk in the park spoiled by a little white ball. This is the stupidest saying I’ve ever heard. Golf has never been a walk in the park. It has always been an instrument of torture that slices open your soul to reveal the shriveled black thing you used to call a heart. It breaks down every semblance of pride you have ever had and makes you scream like a little girl and the worst part of it is that you pay to inflict it upon yourself.
But, like an addict, I keep coming back time after time to inflict the pain on myself again and again. I guess I’m like a cutter.
I am convinced, however, that the pain would stop if I had brand new clubs. My clubs are fine I guess, but they are not good for me. I think my next set of clubs will have zen like names. Maybe names that kids would call their ponies or kittens. They will have names like “Fluffy” and “Smooth” and “Easy.” They will be all the same brand and length and will nestle into their own fur-lined grooves in a leather cart bag. Golf will bring peace and tranquility to my life.
…But really, where’s the fun in that?
However, I did bring the entire group of clubs in my post to the pound.