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Friday, March 6, 2009

Golf

Hey, you, Portlanders. You haven't forgotten about my big gig coming up, have you?



Thursday, March 26th. Two sets by yours truly at a very cool coffee shop in Sellwood called Twin Paradox. And it's free, for Pete's sake! Come and see me!

In other news, Jon Grayson commented over on my Facebook page: "Obviously you're not a golfer."

What Jon was referring to I have no idea, but I think it's important--nay, essential--that my readers know whether I am a golfer or not.

I'm not.

I was, but I'm not anymore.

I started golfing when I was 16. That summer I worked at Indian Bluff Golf Course in Milan, IL, washing golf carts, filling the soda machines and doing whatever else they could dream up for me.

I was horrible at this job. I didn't like washing the carts, was constantly reminded by my employer how much better the last guy was, and the "pros" upstairs didn't like me. I couldn't wait for golf season to get over with so I could come up with a better way to earn beer money.



The one thing this job afforded me, however, was an opportunity to play golf for free whenever I wanted.

I played whenever I could, maybe a couple of times a week, with the earnestness of someone hoping to cultivate a life-long hobby.

Unfortunately, no matter how many rounds I played, I never quite got the hang of it. I was very inconsistent, found the choice of clubs superfluous, and my focus would always drift on the back nine, making for a nightmarish second half. That summer, I averaged a score of about 55 for nine holes.

(For you non-golfers out there, this is pretty bad, but hey, I was just a kid.)

So when winter came, I put my clubs away and concentrated on laying down the law instead.



When I turned 26, my life in the Refreshments was in full swing. I was making a living as a musician, which meant I was up late every night with not a lot to do during the day to keep me out of trouble.



PH, our new drummer, was a whiz at golf, and we started to entertain the crazy notion of playing a bit to pass some afternoons.

Naturally, I was a bit concerned, but I was an adult, right? Ten years separated me and my last failed attempts on the links. Things could change, I could learn something, I could get better. So I gave it a whirl.

We played the Dobson course all summer, and I averaged a score of about 55 for nine holes.

So, I put my golf bag away and went on tour.

Then, at 36, an artist friend of mine in Ashland, Oregon, Steven Birnbaum, asked me to play golf with him. Steven used to be on his college golf team, and is quite good.



So, I played golf with him all summer that year, and I averaged a score of about 55 for nine holes.

16, 26, 36, my age didn't matter. I average 55 for nine holes. That's the kind of golfer I am.

So, what's my problem with golf? Why can't I get a better score?

I did, after 20 years, figure this out.

The answer is divots.



When a golfer swings his club on many, if not most, swings, it is customary that the golfer rip a divot, or a large clod of grass and dirt, from the ground.

It's part of the game. You swing the club, you hit the ball, you launch a divot. Then you repair the divot and go find your ball.

Whether unconsciously or not, I didn't want to create a divot.

Something about hitting the head of the club into the ground with this big swing and digging up a piece of earth just didn't appeal to me. It wasn't that I didn't want to repair the divot. It wasn't that I had some environmental angst about digging into the grass. I just didn't like the idea, didn't like the way it felt hitting the club into the ground, didn't like the "mess" of it all.

Why make a divot if you don't have to.

And unconsciously, during my swing, I would pull up at the last second, making sure I didn't create a divot. It happened every time. If I swang a golf club right now, I would unconsciously pull up a little bit so I wouldn't create a divot. It's in my wiring. There's no fixing it.

So, no golf for me, please. I don't like divots.

Now, ball washers. That's a whole 'nother story.


Next week, we'll talk about my inability to open a potato chip bag without getting potato chips all over the floor.

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

Buy Ghost Notes



Buy Songs from Memory


Buy Stuck Outside of Phoenix

1 comment:

K said...

I totally understand the divot thing. Makes perfect sense to me.

Scissors...that's how I open the potato chip bag neatly, without any crumbs or mess. Then I use one of those patented "chip clips" to seal it up so they stay fresh until I want one again. Since I only eat one chip at a time. And, it's always the broken ones first. I...NEVER, EVER eat a whole chip while there are broken ones to be cleaned up.

Yes...I've heard of OCD.

Yes...I fold dirty laundry before putting it in the hamper.

Yes...I know I need help. It doesn't hamper my ability to promote rock n roll :-) Wish I could be there for your show. Actually, I'm considering filling up big red and just driving there. I'll give ya' a holler if I make it. *hugs * ~ K