I recently watched a TV program in which a golf student proclaimed his teacher knew what a person was like by watching him/her play golf. In other words, this particular instructor focused intently on his student's golf game, then used his telepathic ability to delve into the person's psyche and make bold assumptions about their character. I didn't buy it.
Then I thought about it and it started making some sense. For example, my dad could watch me play golf and confidently state: 'Son, judging by your golf game, it appears that when you were 16-years-old I allowed you to borrow my car and it came back littered with beer bottle caps and cigarette butts. This led me to believe you likely had an exploratory problem with some of society's most common vices.'
And my twin sister could offer: 'Andrew, as I overlook your golf swing, it is evident that you are the type of guy that would solicit wrestling matches with your 12-year-old twin sister. You would proceed to perform stunning, yet extremely dangerous maneuvers on your victim concluding in bloody noses and confinement to your bedroom.' Amazing.
You might say that this doesn't count. After all, family has an unfair advantage in making these assumptions. Perhaps.
All of the sudden a light went on. I recalled playing golf with a weird kid in college. He frequently showcased his twisted behavior in the form of severe temper tantrums and outrageously foul and creative word usage. I remember that his favorite expression had something to do with feces being righteous or 'holy.' Then I put two and two together. This kid grew up on the farm and shoveled the stuff all day long - hence the abnormal passion for the stuff and his over-usage of the expression.
Whew! I was starting to catch on. I spent some time thinking about the issues at hand and more enlightenment came my way in other situations where the character of one's golf game can dictate who a person really is. Here they are...
Trait number 1 - You have a severe problem with fear when you attempt a shot over water (pictured, above).
What it really means - This is a strong indication that liquid things are gripping you. You could have a drinking problem. You may also have a bladder infection. Seek medical attention.
Trait number 2 - You regularly hit 'fat' shots and 'chili-dip' your chips and pitches.
What it really means - You have some kind of fixation with food. It could be an eating disorder or perhaps you don't maintain a diet properly proportioned with the four food groups (beer and nachos is not considered a food group).
Trait number 3 - You consistently find your putts lipping out.
What it really means - You have a problem with your mouth. Either you get too 'lippy' or you're simply a rude person.
Trait number 4 - You continually use creative versions of the s-word.
What it really means - If you did not grow up on a farm there is another likely reason why your diction is 'foul.' Constipation could be on the horizon or you may need to visit the bidet.
Trait number 5 - You perpetually hit 'pop-ups' off the top of your club-face, forcing you to strain your head upwards towards the heavens to watch your ball fly.
What it really means - God is trying to communicate with you. Not only is he telling you that you stink at golf, but he's also beckoning you to pray to him more often regarding other 'foul' areas in your life.
Trait number 6 - Your golf ball seems to be magnetically attracted to dense bushes lining the fairways.
What it really means - You're probably trying to hide from things that are bothering you. Face your problems head on. You could also be a Buddhist who will reincarnate as a plant in the next life. Either way, it's not looking good.
Trait number 7 - Your ball consistently finds deep rough and nestles in long grass.
What it really means - Your life is a 'hairy' mess. You've likely got hair growing in places it has no business growing. Get tweezers and extract the mop coming out of your ears and for God's sake get rid of that barbed wire growing out of your nose - especially if you're a woman.
Trait number 8 - You're wearing out the heel and toe of your golf clubs.
What it really means - Your feet need some attention. They probably smell like road-killed skunks that have been baking in the Arizona sun for three days. Get to a podiatrist as soon as possible for inspection. Nose plugs can prevent asphyxiation.
You know the saying 'you are what you eat?' Well, 'you are what you golf' too. Take heed my friend, and examine the signs. It's not like the occasional slice is something to take lightly. At first glance a regular slicer may say,: 'Big deal! This has no bearing on my character.' However, the truth of the matter is that slicers repeatedly find the 'right' side of the golf course and are therefore budding right-winged extremists.
Lefties, well, that's another story.
Andrew Penner is a golf pro and writer living in Calgary, Canada (thank God, Ed).
|| 11 - JANUARY 2002