Golf Character – On the Other Hand!
Two days ago, I expounded on the woes of non-professional golfers, our inability to make golf fantasies come true once we reach the course or leave the driving range, and our tendency to fold after the first bad shots because we can’t recover like those guys on TV. I also pounced upon the belief that men don’t like to play golf with women. I realized soon after that I had fallen victim to popular culture myth. In different ways, men and women have been depicted by the media as so stupid and insensitive, or incapable of mutual dialogue that you’d think Men were from Sirius and Women are from the Vega System. Let’s be nice on this one – that’s baloney, and Madison Avenue can keep it.
Phil Mickelson shot a 60 today in Phoenix, and at one point, had a shot at 58. I believe that most of the men who watched it had a genuine appreciation for the quality of the round. Some men are entirely ok with their final putt not being for the British Open, one way or the other. Some men are perfectly well-grounded in reality, and just enjoy the game of golf. And, it should be pointed out that we’re not entirely incapable of “recovering” after bad holes or shots. Maybe it’s not six straight birdies, although that’s possible. Maybe it’s a couple of pars, but that doesn’t matter. The weekender has eighteen holes and any number of strokes for potential redemption.
As for the women thing, I grew up playing with three daughters of a family we all loved so much that they were called cousins, aunts and uncles. On those occasions where I was able to play with my Aunt Helen, you’d think I’d been invited to play with the Queen of England. She was an odd duck, but more than beloved. Her putter was dubbed Calamity Jane, and could she ever use it! I even got my mother out there once or twice, not to mention a girlfriend or two. I took lessons with pro Helen Dettweiler, and enjoyed them immensely. In short, anyone who was a pleasure to be around was a double pleasure to be around on the golf course, and hanging out with the guys was not relevant.
Barbara and I frequently visit the driving range, and play from time to time. She possesses none of the stereotypical habits we’ve been saddled with, has a fine swing and is a lot of fun on such an outing. I’ve even gotten her into the habit of yelling at people who won’t move at green lights – “Hey! Mark your scorecard on the next tee!”
An increasing number of men are paying attention, and by that I mean healthy attention to the LPGA. The quality is unmistakable to anyone past the second century, and the growing global scope of the season is to be admired. However, most of all, and as I’ve said many times before, golf is a treasure for families, with children growing up enjoying the companionship of siblings, parents and friends, with gender seeming to have nothing to do with it.
Boy, do I feel better after having written this. Some confused reader might have gotten the impression from the other day that I didn’t think golf was healthy for the non-professional, and that watching the pros was an addiction to an impossible model. Nonsense – I’m going to follow Mickelson’s every move tomorrow, and I’ll be just fine not winning the British Open…I wonder, though, what it’s like to shoot a 60…oh well.