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Celebrating a birdie
Birdies are wonderful things. Not only do you have an achievement to be proud of but you have a terrific opportunity to celebrate an outstanding accomplishment. It seems to me that creativity is the way to go when communicating your exuberance. I have made it my task to come up with a personal birdie celebration to top all others. It will be my trademark. It will provide entertainment for the fans and will lead me to victory.

Of course, a good birdie celebration should not only advertise delight, it should also instil the fear of God in your playing opponents. It should cause their knees to shake and their bodies to tremble at your unabashed talent. It should punctuate your ceaseless objective of beating them into the ground.

Tiger's 'fist pump' is a powerful move. It should be respected and feared, for in it lies the heart and soul of a champion - one of the greatest to walk among us. In all honesty however, this fist pump lacks the creativity and charm of other birdie celebrations we have come to know. Chi Chi Rodriguez's sword routine, for example, is a finely crafted, entertaining spectacle. People stand back and eat it up. But make no mistake about it, it is also a powerful move that deeply disturbs his opponents to their core. Anyone can pump a fist, but nobody can make a kill quite like Chi Chi.

My birdie celebration will also be unique and entertaining. It will be dramatic and daring. It will instil fear in the hearts of my foes. Here are my ideas so far, complete with pros and cons.

1) Taking off my shirt and doing a high speed sprint around the green (similar to football players do after a goal).
Pros - This move would be exciting for the fans, as it is a rarity to witness nakedness on the golf course. My pectorals are not overly impressive, but nonetheless, flexing some exposed muscle can be rather intimidating.
Cons - I'd probably cough up a lung after running. I may also blind the gallery with my chalk-white body.

2) Drawing my six-shooter from its holster and firing three shots into the air (following each shot I would bellow a loud 'Yee Haw!').
Pros - Guns are loud and impressive. Real showstoppers. Everyone loves good gunplay - check out the movie The Untouchables.
Cons - Registering guns is a nuisance and having a holster on while playing could be bothersome.

3) Performing a gymnastics 'tumbling' routine on the green (I'd try to avoid that disturbing move where the gentlemen tumblers land in the splits position).
Pros - Gymnastics are very entertaining. The floor exercise is always a fan favourite. Opponents would be wowed with my athletic prowess.
Cons - Tumbling with spikes on could be dangerous. An ill-timed landing could spell disaster for someone in the gallery.

4) Performing a funky dance routine (what American football players do in the endzone after scoring a touchdown).
Pros - Dances can always be choreographed to include both original moves and complete tastelessness. Coming up with something really repulsive is bound to get my rivals off their game.
Cons - Some perceive male dancing to be 'tacky.' I may get the nickname twinkletoes. [Another con is that you're white, so by definition don't have rhythm - Ed]

5) Diving into the gallery (what they do into the orchestra pit at a rock concert).
Pros - This would go over well with the young people. Could also mean more long-haired freaky people would be drawn to the game. This great act of courage would certainly have an unnerving effect on my adversaries.
Cons - Being dropped could be embarrassing and painful. The celebration would take a serious turn for the worse with me writhing in pain on the green (ot to mention losing the upper hand in the match).

6) Sticking my putter between my legs and riding it like a horse as I gallop around the green slapping my thighs and shouting 'Ride 'em cowboy!' (similar to birdie celebration two, but minus the artillery approach).
Pros - This would be a good one for the kids. Kids love cowboys. The John Wayne persona is also something to revere.
Cons - I might get tomahawked.

7) Shaking a can of beer and shotgunning it in front of the gallery, then crushing the can into a twisted tin ball and tossing it into the crowd.
Pros - I like beer. Beer is yummy.
Cons - Going on a birdie binge could prove detrimental to my success. My language and diction would deteriorate, my vision would become blurred, and I would have a tough time walking a straight line to my ball.

I'm not quite sure which celebration I'm going to go with. If I went to the gym a little more often I might choose number one. Of course, I've always enjoyed playing with guns. Unfortunately, most of my cohorts may not be too pleased seeing me with live ammunition on the golf course. Also, one can seemingly never go wrong with beer. Rats. I'm not sure what to do. Hopefully, by the time next season starts I'll have it figured it out. Until then, I guess we'll be stuck with more fist pumps.

Andrew Penner is a Canadian golf pro who composed this article while trying to remember when he last had a birdie to celebrate.

©    10 - OCTOBER 2002

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