I LIKE SPORTS

I like to watch basketball, baseball, and football. Heck, I'll even watch yacht racing, weight lifting, and ice-skating. But no matter how bored I get, I cannot force myself to watch, play, or understand golf.

Before you golfers start writing letters or burning flagsticks on my front lawn, allow me to explain: I do not like golf because, unlike other sports, it makes no sense to me. It is filled with confusing terms, outrageous rules, and really odd clothing. Let's start with the course layout.

Why does a golf course consist of 18 holes? Why not 10 holes, or 20? Why can't each course decide how many holes it would like to have? I assume that since golf was invented in Scotland the players had a wee dram after each hole and 18 holes was the most they could play before passing out.

I also find it amusing that golf is one of the few sports where the participants are allowed to keep their own score. It is no wonder that they call the position of their ball a lie. And what's the deal with the special names for different scores? If you get the ball into the hole in the allotted number of strokes, you are said to have achieved par, which according to Webster, is “average.” If you have fewer strokes, you are below par — or doing worse than average, but winning the game.

In addition to par, you can also score a birdie, a bogie, or an eagle. Eagles are nothing more than really big birdies, and we all know that there will never be another Bogie. (“Putt it again, Sam.”)

And what about golf clothing? Unlike team sports with matching uniforms, golf screams out individualism. It also screams out, “Yikes! Did you get dressed in the dark?” Golfers have gone from wearing knickers to wearing pants with pictures of little elephants or shamrocks on them. And the pants never match the shoes, which are brown and white two-tones with spikes pounded into the bottom of them.

Golf shirts must have collars. That is the only stipulation. They can have gravy stains, large holes, or pictures of wrestling wolverines on them as long as they have collars. Golf gloves are worn on only one hand even though both hands are used equally in the game. I can only assume that a single glove is worn is so that the golfer can finish up a round in the sun and have one hand tanned while the other remains a pasty white. That way your hands will match your shoes.

Nothing means more to a golfer than his clubs. A good set should cost as much as a used car and should contain both “irons” and “woods,” even though woods are sometimes made of metal and irons are actually made of steel.

For those of you naysayers out there who are thinking, “Hey, Dale, just play the game once and you will be hooked just like us,” I want to tell you that I have played the game of golf. I have tried it several times and had to quit because I ran out of curse words. I also hate the fact that a round of golf takes five hours, which is a large block of time to devote to a game at which you stink. If I want to waste five hours of my life and have nothing to show for it … I'll go fishing.




Dale Irvin brings the last laugh to meetings with his unique recap of each day's events for such organizations as the Million Dollar Round Table, Thrivent Financial, Penn Mutual, and Allstate. For a good time, visit www.daleirvin.com. For booking, call Ruth Levine at Speak Inc., (858) 457-9880.