I have made fun of golf since I was twelve — the summer Linda Gautier and I hacked our way through the nine holes of the Metaberoutin, which was then a nine hole course closed to all but management of the Canadian International Paper mill in Trois-Rivieres. I guess things have changed at the Met: http://www.golfladouceur.com/
What we loved was nineteenth (tenth?) hole, where we’d chug Grape Crush and eat Vachon Bakeries’ — the Little Debbie of Canada — Joe Louis cakes — black on the outside, white on the inside. Horrifying, but then was then, and they were, to our sugar-craving, just menstruating selves, worth walking nine holes for. http://www.canadaonly.ca/products/Vachon-Jos.-Louis.html
Like every other middle class couple in the sixties, my parents played golf; it was my mother’s bag of clubs I dragged to the destination of sugar and artificial flavors. Neither of them were truly dedicated golfers because they had bigger things to do, and I suspect my mother preferred the country club dances to teeing off.
I’ve made ruthless fun of golf and hushed golf broadcasting since I was thirteen. No matter my Scots heritage, golf was the Country of Old Men, or dorky young men. BOring.
John McEnroe once said that golf wasn’t a sport because in a sport “Don’t you have to run around a little?” I agree. Golf’s a game, like snooker, of skill and strategy. Or curling, which I’m mad for after a couple of months of a Canadian winter .
I’m a New York Times “Weekender” — don’t snicker, and in the Sports section last Friday I read about a Northern Ireland kid named Rory McIlroy and how he was tearing up the turf at Augusta.
There wasn’t much going on yesterday afternoon so I flicked the remote to the Masters. Holy crap, it was riveting. The course looks like a Thomas Kinkead “painting.” We were on the edge of the tatty old couch in front of the Jumbotron, cheering Tiger’s charge, watching Rory disintegrate, loving the late Aussie brilliance and admiring the two old vets, Angel and PK doing what they do with their impenetrable game faces on.
I’ve said it here a few times. I love being proved wrong about anything I’ve sneered at, because admitting I’m wrong gives me something cheap and cheerful to look forward to. Give me an EZ Boy and a cigar and I’m my father-in-law.