Monday, April 15, 2013

Great Scott! The Masters and a Downhill Lie...

Through the rain in Augusta Georgia yesterday, while a distant purr from a tiger could be heard, an Argentinian made the turn at Amen corner.  A figurative papal whisp of smoke rose from the chimney of Butler cabin signaling we may have a new Masters Champ. But a man from down under sprang to life like a kangaroo and Great Scott!, an Aussie is wearing a green jacket for the first time in Masters history!

There were no green jackets the previous weekend in Florida during a respite from this laughable 'spring' weather we're having in Minnesota.

Yes, my first official round of golf this year was just that... laughable.  To ease my pain and looking for empathy, I began reading a highly recommended  book written by fellow ball striker Carl Hiaasen called, The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport

Toads and Monkeys.  From shanking toads to being chased by monkeys; to sinking putts and even a golf cart,  Hiaasen's Downhill Lie is a sanctuary for all us hackers and duffers. A book recommended to me by someone who has yet to see me play golf. Perhaps this person is clairvoyant and by my mere physical appearance realizes I'll never break 80 and thought a humorous story will see me through the sand traps of this season.

Downhill Lie is Hiaasen's journal of resurrection. Resurrecting his game of golf, returning to it,  a frustrating tough love of a game he gave up  thirty years plus ago.  Perhaps I should do that, give it up for thirty years, but given I'm a half century old, taking up the game again at 80 doesn't sound too appealing. But then maybe I'll be able to shoot my age?

In reading Hiaasen's hilarity thus far ( I'm about to make the turn as they say in golf lore) I can safely say I'm not alone in the world of foot wedges, training aides both practical and medicinal, and little red books and zen theologies. I find comfort that this singular game, where a club and a dimpled ball is played on a meticulously manicured field of sod, can be as frustating to others as it is to me.

And just as the golf devils divot our games into the hazzards of embarrassment, blind squirrels find a nut every once in a while and we make that great drive, chip in or long putt to rehab us through the lovely sometimes laughable addiction we call, golf.

Thanks to the empathizer( or sympathizer?)  who recommended this book and thank you, Mr. Hiaasen, I hope the back nine is just as funny and entertaining as the front nine.

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