Sunday, February 15, 2009

Golf Dreams, Goals

My dad was searching for his copy of Louden Wainwright III’s Album III to lend to me when he realized that he’d lent it to my sister. As a consolation prize, he handed me a book on tape. It was Golf Dreams. A collection of essays and short stories about golf written and read by John Updike. I just finished it yesterday.

It seems like a cruel joke now, getting me all fired up to play a round of honest golf in the middle of February. All I can do is bounce some puts around the living room and maybe set some “New Gentleman” golfing goals for the year. Here goes...

1. I’d like to get together with my poker buddies and play a dollar a hole skins game at least once. Or enlist them in a charity scramble for a decent cause. We used to play a couple times a season but I don't think we played at all last year which was a real shame. The same story applies to poker, bowling, pool and various other excuses to drink Miller High Life between turns and jokes.

2. I’d like to take my stepson out to the driving range 2 or 3 times in advance of taking a day off work to go nine with him on one of the ugly par 3s. He's about the age I was when my dad took me out. I dug the Junior set of clubs out of his basement last year and bought a bag of plastic practice balls at the end of last year. Although he's 5 times the athelete I was, he's equally prone to tears of frustration so it should be a fun little spin on the circle of life.

3. I’d like to get a new driver. My current one is a hand be down from my dad that has a nasty dent at the bottom of the club face and is probably an inch too short for me. I’d like to get one at least partially made of wood, if they still make them. I visited Dick's sporting goods and their selection was uniformly shiny and oversized. I’d also like to pick up a box of decent balls. Maybe Slazengers or Titleists. At this point my entire arsenal consists of found balls and scuffed emergency Top Flites.

4. I’d like to break 90. I’d been putting off buying proper spikes until I broke 90, but I realized that not having spikes was probably holding me back from breaking 90. So at the end of last season, when they were under $10 I bought a pair of Puma golf cleats. I know there’s a little book with tips and tricks for breaking 90. I’ll track it down and digest it. Hopefully that will do the trick.

5. I’m going to commit myself to walking every round, keeping an honest score card, playing by the rules, replacing, repairing and observing every golf courtesy. God help me if I come across a pair of knickers and argyle knee socks. Though, the tweed cap is definitely coming out.

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