Monday, June 9, 2008


If you spell it backwards it spells, FLOG. I once heard it was an acronym based on a sign found over the door in the locker room at one of the early Golf Clubs that stood for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden. I really don't know. I was introduced to the game almost by accident in Mobile, Ala. My dad wasn't the golfing type. At our income level, golf was not on the weekend menu. However, some of my buddies heard you could make some good tips going to the nearby Country Club and caddying. So, I went. I knew absolutely nothing about the game. The Club pro felt sorry for me because I was the last available caddy on the bench outside. He told me he would teach me the ropes. I think he realized I probably wouldn't argue much when he took nine strokes and told me to put down a four. I was in college before I ever really played the game. In my Senior year, I had a number of electives left to take and so I chose Golf. That was a great class. Every session was held at the golf course and I managed a fairly decent grade. Later as an adult, I spent thousands on clubs, training equipment, green fees, cart rental, lessons, and snacks at the Country Club. I had game, but I couldn't get my short game and my long game going in the same round. I was a pretty good instructor. I knew by watching what you were doing wrong, but I couldn't get it going when I had to address the ball. I am left handed, but I learned to play right handed. I've always thought that had an effect on my swing thoughts. I never learned the thousands of rules that go along with the game. I played fair, however I never counted an extra stroke when adjusting my lie with my number 12 foot wedge. I could drive a ball 400 yards; 200 out + 200 to the right. I was usually in a fairway, but not always the one I teed off on. Some might think golf a sissy sport, but I've been to the emergency room on at least two occasions for stitches. Both when trying to teach my daughters how to play. My younger one was trying to learn in high school, and I was working with her at the driving range. She was having trouble keeping her head down when she swung. I stood behind her and put my hand on the back of her head to hold it down through the swing. She had learned my lesson on follow through and caught me right behind my left ear with a nine iron. Nice shot, great follow through and a trip to the ER. Later when my older daughter was an adult, I took her and her mother to a small nine hole course to teach her as we played. The first hole went well, it was a long par four with plenty of room. The second was a par three with a large oak in front of the green. I teed off first and laid up in front of the tree. The limb of the oak ran all the way across the fairway, so I took out my three wood and hit the ball like I was putting. The ball ran along the ground and up onto the green. I lined my daughter up and told her to use the same shot. I stepped back to watch the shot. He back swing was low and slow, but she also remembered the lesson on the first hole on the importance of follow through. I heard it more than felt it, but I knew it wasn't good. Her three wood hit me just over my left eye at the hair line. I remained conscious, but I scared several golfers on my way to the club house when they saw the bloody towel pressed against my forehead. The people at the ER asked how I got hurt and I told them I was giving a golf lesson. My ER doctor was also a ring physician and had sewed up several boxers with similar wounds, so he did a fine job putting in the six stitches. If I had listened to an old man at the driving range early in my golf career, I would look less like Frankenstein today. He said if you want to stay married, never try and teach you wife to drive or play golf. I could add to that, "or any other family members." I still play, but I've over built my body and I am a little too thick to swing around my torso. I still have clubs, and occasionally I will go if someone has a free pass, but now I spend most of my golfing energy on designing golf helmets.

There is no game like golf; you go out with three friends, play eighteen holes, and return with three enemies.