Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Golf balls and moth balls

A buddy I haven’t seen for a while sent me a message on Facebook recently.
He asked if I wanted to play golf.
Immediately, I called a psychiatrist. She promptly cleared a couple of hours of her time. She told me to just relax and recline on her couch. I went into a fetal position. She showed me some ink blots. They all looked like divots. She showed me some more ink blots. This time, they looked like undulating greens.
She said Freud. I asked if his last name was Couples.
Just the mere mention of golf put me in a sweat. Can you get post traumatic stress disorder riding in a cart?
It is not that I hate the game. For the longest time, I loved golf. The trouble is, it was unrequited love.

I’ve played a ton of golf in my lifetime. You would never know it. I am absolutely horrible. I never took a lesson and it shows. My backswing is shorter than a hyperactive teen’s attention span. Pavel Datsyuk takes a longer backswing for his wrist shot.
I hit the ball straight. That is my only redeeming characteristic. The trouble is, it only travels 150 yards or so.
Imagine that, an adult male who cannot hit the ball even 200 yards. Talk about inadequacy. I feel like Pee Wee Herman in an MMA cage fight.
I can distinctly recall the moment I decided to quit the game for good. It was at a media day outing in Grand Blanc with the late Mark Andrews, a respected sports broadcaster and a good friend. Time and time again, Mark would out-drive me at Warwick Hills, the site of the former Buick Open.
Now a better man would not have been bugged by that. But Mark was 4-7. He was born with dwarfism. He stood tall in all walks of life, and he certainly stood taller than yours truly that summer afternoon.
Right then, I knew I was not cut out for golf.
Then again, I think I knew that years earlier, even as a kid when we’d go to Bogie Lake Golf Club in White Lake Township near where I grew up.
When I got older, I followed in the footsteps of my older brothers and went to caddy at Edgewood Country Club in Union Lake. I was not very good at it. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was nothing more than a mule carrying a rich guy’s bag. A mule with greasy hair, greasy skin and skin tone Clearasil dabbed on my face.
To get off golf for a second, but was I the only teenager who thought skin tone Clearasil was laughable. I mean, whose skin is that color? It rests somewhere between Silly Putty and chamois on the Sherwin Williams color chart.
Laughable defines my non-existent golf game. So when my buddy asked about golf Friday, I politely replied that I no longer play. I think I lied and said something about back surgery. Or maybe it was a rotator cuff surgery. Or maybe I told him I had pulled hammy, and I was not referring to Honey Baked and Swiss.
I told him I would drive the beer cart if it was an outing. Or I would stay back in the locker room and spit shine some Footjoys. Or I’d flip burgers back the grill.
Anything but actually play golf. It’s tough to putt from the fetal position.


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