putt putt

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Humorous Bits
Tags: ,

My friend Tony posted a comment on Facebook saying he needs a new putter. I assume he’s referring to a golf club, the one called a “putter”. It’s unlikely he’s in search of a person to actually putt the ball for him once he gets it on the green. If that were the case I’d have to chide him about his lack of clarity. The proper thing to say would’ve been, “I need a surrogate putter”. But Tony’s a smart guy, so I’m pretty sure he meant the golf club.

Golf is not a passion of mine. It’s never even reached passing fancy stage. That’s not to say I’ve never played. The thing I found most difficult was getting the ball through the windmill. Maybe I’m simply not cut out for it. However, many people thoroughly enjoy it. They find it relaxing, yet challenging. I imagine aspects of Man vs. Self, Man vs. Man, and Man vs. Nature are mixed into the psychology of the sport, although the Man vs. Nature part is sketchy at best. Have you ever stumbled upon an open field consisting of a super strain of grass that never grows beyond a certain height, yet remains uniformly lush? I surely haven’t. Even more unlikely is the existence of huge craters of pure white sand intermittingly dispersed in this miraculous field, especially when it’s the only sand within 50 miles. As for the little hole in the field, that’s possible. Gophers have to live somewhere.

Although golf doesn’t do much for me, I’ve seen enough to grasp the basics about playing a hole.

On the first and (possibly) second shots you must hit the ball as hard your strength allows using golf clubs called woods and irons. The intent is to blast the ball as far as possible in an effort to get it on the fairway and closer to the hole. When you start 400 yards (1,200 feet; 14,400 inches) away from your goal smacking that puppy with force is mandatory.

Once you’ve chopped the distance, you resort to the irons. In simple terms the irons are numbered clubs and the further you are from the hole, the lower number iron you use. (“Look, Johnny. He’s pulling out the 5 iron. From this distance. Oh, they’ll be talking about this for weeks!”) From here you do not smack the crap out of the ball. The closer to the hole the less need for brute strength. It’s all about finesse, baby. Using those irons you want to get the ball on the green as quickly as possible. (Golfies will undoubtedly squawk at this assessment and scramble to add all kinds of nuanced blatter to the discussion. Yawn.)

Finally, when you’ve reached the green you’ll do a lot of crouching, walking, crouching and walking to get a firm grasp on the physics of the terrain. Angles unseen by a mere mortal’s eye will make the ball wiggle and waggle like Lindsay Lohan trying to walk the line on a Saturday night. Once you’ve considered every possible path for the ball’s travel the “putter” is used to tap it towards the hole. Sometimes it requires a more vigorous tap, but a tap nonetheless. Similar to the tap you may give a small rock with your foot to brush it off the sidewalk. Naturally, the more skilled the golfer, the fewer putts required to get the ball in the hole.

When I read Tony’s need for a new putter it got me to thinking. All golf clubs consist of a shaft and a head. (I hear you giggling. Stop it.) Both can be made from a variety of hard materials designed to tolerate the action the particular club must withstand. Since putters are never swung with the violent force of woods and irons, the only part of the club which experiences wear and tear is the head. But if the head always taps the ball wouldn’t it take a hell of a lot of putts to wear that sucker out? It’s made from solid compounds and polymers, not potato chips. It makes me wonder why anyone would need a new one.

So Tony, babe, if you’re reading this I have three things to say. First, you know I love you, man. Second, how many times do you actually putt during a normal round of golf? 183?? Third, you may want to look into Wii Golf. It’s far easier on the wallet and better for your blood pressure, dude.

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