by Mike McHugh
Some friends recently joined the local country club and invited us to join them there for Easter brunch. We accepted their gracious invitation, and so I strolled into the clubhouse that day, wearing the mandatory dinner jacket, questionable Big Gulp in hand. (Hey, I was thirsty on the ride over and couldn’t find a trashcan.)
I’d not known Phil to be a golfer, and so I wondered what prompted them to join. For that matter, I’ve always wondered why anybody would take up golf, given the frustrations that I hear from people who play the game.
There are many other things in life to be frustrated about, few of which require lugging around a bag full of expensive equipment. One needs only to call customer service at his cable company or become a Houston Astros fan.
“I couldn’t find a trash can,” I answered.
He also said that he owns his own clubs, only a few of which are bent. That’s because Phil rarely allows himself to become frustrated over his game.
I own a set of clubs, too, and I have found good use for them lately as stakes for my tomato plants. It’s a much better use than their intended purpose, which, as far as I’ve been able to tell, is to launch balls into heavily wooded areas, and then to fend off wild animals as you desperately search for them in the underbrush.
Since I don’t envision playing much golf, at least during the growing season, I’m not inclined to follow Phil’s lead and apply for membership in the club. I was at first intrigued by the “country” part of “golf and country,” but Phil tells me he has yet to hear any Willie Nelson music played in the clubhouse.
That would leave only the “golf” part—a game that I’d never been able to get the hang of, at least as concerns the first 18 holes. It’s that way with me for all sports. As I explained to Phil, if I could only exchange my golf score with my bowling average, I’d be a world champion in both.
Phil, ever the salesman, made a point. “You know, Mike, you’d end up with the best deal of any club member in terms of dollars per stroke. Oh, excuse me, waiter, could you please take this cup away?”
The waiter took our empty plates, but the cup sat.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve got nothing against golf. In fact, there are many positive aspects to the game, not least among them being the jokes. Golfers must have the best sense of humor of all sportsmen, as I have heard more knee-slapping, roll-on-the floor golf jokes than I have about all other sports combined. Even fishing, which has its share of good jokes, takes a distant second to golf in the laugh category. On the other hand, I’ve yet to hear so much as a groaner on the topic of archery.
We all had a splendid brunch. I thanked Phil for his invitation and told him I’d consider applying for membership, adding that it would help if they at least played a little Blake Shelton once in a while. He promised he’d speak to the management about it.
I glanced back at the table as we exited the dining room. The empty Big Gulp was finally gone.© 2014 by Mike McHugh