September 10, 2003

Bogey Golf

I finished Alan Shipnuck's "Bud, Sweat and Tees" recently. This is sort along the same lines as John Feinstein's "A Good Walk Spoiled". But where Feinstein is focussing on the majors and the great players most of the time (some time is spent talking about people trying to qualify, and I found that part and the Ryder Cup stuff really fascinating), Shipnuck focuses on Rich Beem and his on-and-off caddy, Steve Duplantis, who are basically overgrown juvenile delinquents who happen to make a career in professional golf.

The story of Beem's first tournament win is very gripping, and at first, the stories of the profoundly messed-up personal lives of both characters is really interesting. You know, like slowing down to watch a car wreck. About halfway through the book for me, that really started to grate. Like many of their friends keep saying, how could these guys collectively be so stupid and make so many obviously bad choices to blow the precious successes that they've had? If these were characters in a fiction novel, I'd get irritated because they aren't believeable enough.

Anyway, if you've ever watched much golf, read Feinstein's book first, then Shipnuck's is a close second. I've read a couple other books on golf, and these two are probably the best I've come across so far. The funny thing is, I'm not really a golf fan. I never watch it on TV these days (except if the Ryder Cup comes on, I might make some time for that, but not like for a Cowboys game). But when I was growing up and spending the occasional weekend at Dad's, there were a lot of long afternoons in front of the TV (before I was old enough to drive) where Dad would be watching golf. It was the only TV in the house, and there weren't GameCubes or anything like that.

Also, my Dad did go out of his way to help me learn the game. I still play with him a couple of times per year, and I usually score around 100 (my goal is bogey golf...an average of one-over-par per hole, which would be about 90), depending on the difficulty of the course. It's really hard to justify playing more than that given the expense of playing at nice courses like my Dad plays at. And of course, I would never spring for decent clubs. I'm still using the same ones from my days on the high school golf team.

Posted by Observer at September 10, 2003 08:33 AM
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Comments on entries can only be made in pop-up windows while those entries are still on the main index page. Sorry for the inconvenience this causes, but this blocks about 99.99% of the spam the blog receives.

(snore) wha? wha? oh, sorry, (yawn) I fell asleep there. Golf? (shudder)

Posted by: Humbaba on September 10, 2003 08:57 AM

Sorry, I can't talk about budgets, taxes and politics *all* the time. :)

Posted by: Observer on September 10, 2003 09:08 AM

Not that I want you to, but friggin' GOLF? I kinda understand people playing it, but I have no idea why anyone would *watch* it. If my dad had watched golf I'd have left the room to play football with my brothers or read or climb a tree or take a walk in the woods or ride my bike or SOMETHING else. (shudder)

Posted by: Humbaba on September 10, 2003 10:11 AM

Heh, watching golf makes BASEBALL look exciting.

Posted by: Humbaba on September 10, 2003 10:11 AM

Well, when my dad was watching golf, I did all those things as much as I could. But when my older siblings (I was the youngest) got cars, they just drove off somewhere, leaving me behind to fend for myself. And even though you can go outside, when it is 100 degrees, you can't stay out for the four hours that golf is on. Besides, I liked watching TV with my dad, even if it was golf. And golf *can* be good, rarely (like the Ryder Cup), if you know what's going on.

I think the fact that one of my favorite comedies is "Caddyshack" may have something to do with it.

Posted by: Observer on September 10, 2003 10:53 AM

Ah. Summer in Spokane only got to 100F, but no humidity, so it was fine to play all day in as long as you drank from the hose every so often.

Posted by: Humbaba on September 10, 2003 08:50 PM

Wow I haven't thought about drinking from a water hose for a very long time. I can even remember what it tastes like. I can't believe I used to do that!! /aa spits I won't even drink tap water now LOL

Posted by: Felicity on September 10, 2003 10:09 PM

As long as you are actually thirsty and the weather is hot, hose water tastes awesome.

Our tap water tastes good too, but I realise that's not true in many parts of the country.

Posted by: Humbaba on September 11, 2003 08:37 AM