The golfer’s dilemmas

Golfer: “How do you like my game?
Caddie: “Very good, sir, but personally I prefer golf.”

I usually answer the question “Do you play golf?” with “I own a set of clubs.” This response captures the tension most casual golfers feel. I can hit 100 errant shots in a round, but, like an addict, I fixate on that one strike that settles down a fairway, on a green or, best yet, in a hole.

Golfer: “Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?”
Caddie: “Eventually”

Club selection is the bane of a golfer’s existence. I can approach the ball with quiet confidence, execute a flawless swing and strike the ball in the sweetest of spots only to watch it land 20 yards in front of or behind the desired destination. My kids’ bags have four or five clubs. Why does mine have fourteen, all hard to use and easy to lose?

Golfer: “That can’t be my ball; it’s too old.”
Caddie: “It’s been a long time since we teed off, sir.”

Golf’s biggest critique is the time commitment required. I’m not real sure how 18 holes became the standard. Thirteen or fourteen holes would allow me my one good shot without completely exhausting my energy and my wife’s patience.

Five hours away from work and family is certainly a sacrifice. It’s also a relatively undivided time to build quality relationships, assuming you’re playing with the right people. Does anyone have an extra set of left-handed ladies clubs? She’s about five foot six.

Golfer: “Please stop checking your watch all the time. It’s distracting.”
Caddie: “It’s not a watch, sir. It’s a compass.”

Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth pursuit can’t touch my epic searches for a lost ball. In a golfer’s psyche, a horrible shot becomes decent if you locate your ball. Alternatively, a horrible shot becomes respectable if you find someone else’s lost ball. It’s proof you haven’t completely driven off the map.

Golfer: “I think I’m going to drown myself in the lake.”
Caddie: “Can you keep your head down that long?”

The fundamentals of a golf swing seem so simplistic: Don’t over-grip, don’t over-swing, don’t sway, don’t pull your head out, don’t try to kill it. I have executed all this and more in some gorgeous practice swings.

But then, somehow, demons overtake in the 6 inches, 6 seconds and 6 thoughts between a practice swing and an actual one.

When I top, hook or slice a ball into the next zip code, everyone is responsible but me: the cart girl, the president, my parents, the people I’m playing with, my caddie.

Golfer: “You have to be the worst caddie in the world.”
Caddie: “I don’t think so, sir. That would be too much of a coincidence.”

Kevin Thompson is a weekly columnist for The Boerne Star in the Texas hill country. Follow him at

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