Who's Quitting Golf? You're Kidding, Right?
Hey, some of you guys took me seriously last week when I wrote that I was thinking of quitting golf.
Come on! You know you can’t quit this game.
To quit golf you’d have to spend a few months in some kind of facility. You’d need armed guards to keep you from sneaking out.
You think drugs are addictive? Get hooked on golf, and you’re in it for life.
I love the game of golf with a passion. You bet I feel strongly about it.
You know I’m disconsolate when it ditches me, but nothing can keep me from coming back.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve enjoyed two experiences that have served to underline why golf is such a great game, and neither came on a golf course.
They occurred in the sitting rooms of a couple of the nicest people I’ve met in a while.
We love to say that golf is life. In fact, as I’m writing this column I’m wearing a T-shirt with that inscribed on the front. Never mind that it says “… and Golf is Killing Me” on the back.
What I’m saying is that people make golf great, and golf is made up of great people.
Take Linda and Jeff Smythe, for example. Or Babs and John Coleman. Spend an hour sipping pink lemonade or iced tea with these guys and listening to them tell stories about how golf has influenced their lives and what the game has meant to them, and you’ll leave with a new respect for the game.
I’m a simple guy. Some of the guys who know me would tell you that’s exactly what I am — simple.
Truth is, I like people. A guy really has to work to make me think he’s a jerk.
So I don’t know if it’s the game that makes great people or great people that make the game. But I do know that I’ve met more really nice people playing golf than in any other aspect of life.
Yeah, I know, most of my life has been spent covering golf, playing golf or talking about golf, so naturally I’m partial. You’re right, and that’s why I can say with authority that golfers are the best people on earth.
OK, maybe there are some pretty nice people out there who don’t play golf. But they have to know they’re missing something in their lives.
Babs Coleman, who is featured on this page today, took up golf at the age of 11, and it took her all over the country as an amateur. She met icons of the game such as Patty Berg, Louise Suggs, Peggy Kirk Bell and Babe Zaharias.
Babs played golf when women wore long skirts. She didn’t know what skorts were. But she knew what golf was and what it meant. She knew it was a special game, and she treated it with respect.
Babs read my column last week and, while getting a kick out of it, didn’t even want me to think about quitting the game. Unable to play now because of illness, she can’t imagine anyone talking about not playing when they’re capable of being out on the course.
She’s right, of course. Playing golf is a privilege not to be taken lightly.
Golf is life. The rest is just details.
And there I go again, trying to make funny about something that I really love.
Truth is, I have no idea what I would do, or even what I would be, without golf. Golf has shaped my life. And no, I’ve never played the game for a living and have never been good enough at it to even consider that possibility.
I’m fortunate enough to have a BW who understands my passion for the game. She’s patient and kind and allows me to replay my latest round while we share a few moments on the patio.
She listens to me tell how that 87 could have been a 77. She smiles when I say that I’m going to take a couple of weeks off and then quit.
She gets a kick out of seeing me change the clubs in my bag after a bad round.
And she knows that I love her almost as much as I love golf.
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