I Never Played the Game
Cow Pasture Pool
By Garland Davis
Golf: Why did the Scots call the game Golf? Probably because the four-letter words Shit, Fuck, and Cunt had already been used.
I think I have mentioned a couple of times that I enjoy watching Michelle Wie play the game. That is about the extent of my interest in the game, although, at times in the past I have had some experience with the game.
When I was about eight years old, these other two fools and I found a set of dusty old golf clubs in an old abandoned barn. They were ancient wood shafted clubs. (Probably worth a fortune to collectors today.) They must have been a left-handed set of clubs. Since I can remember I have gripped a golf club as a lefty, but I am right handed. Those old clubs were the first I ever saw.
Anyway, we decided to play golf. The only place where the weeds weren’t asshole tall to a long-legged mule was the cow pasture. The cows and goats kept it cropped down. So we promptly constructed a single hole, ten par golf course. (It was ten par because that was the best round anyone ever shot on the course. Junior did it with a tennis ball.) The cows and nanny goats didn’t seem to mind, but the bull seemed to have the same aversion to golf that he did to baseball.
There were no sand traps on our course but there were cow flops. If your ball ended up in a cow flop you could take a drop for a one-stroke penalty or play it out of the bovine excrement. This usually ended with cow shit flung everywhere while the rest of the players cowered behind a maple tree. The person playing out of the hazard had to take the club to the creek and wash the shit off it for the next player.
I often wonder how Jack and Arnie began their association with the game.
My next encounter with golf came many years later in Yokohama Japan. The Commanding Officer of the Housing Facility was an exercise nut. (I know I shouldn’t call a Navy Captain a nut, but that best describes his fascination with exercise.) The C.O. decreed that if anyone in the command would devote the lunch hour to a physical activity they would be permitted to take an extra hour. After ascertaining that golf was an approved physical activity, more specifically the driving range, we would repair to the golf course each lunchtime, fling a bucket of balls down the range and swill beer for an hour and forty-five minutes.
The Captain, upon his relief, said in his remarks that he had never been in a command where he felt the admiration and respect as he did at the Yokohama Navy Housing Activity.
After Yokohama, I went to sea and playing golf never crossed my mind. I was in Westpac and interested in playing a different type of hole where par was decided by the heft of your wallet.
Golf is a costly pass time that I really could not afford when I was a young sailor and now that I can, I am not interested in playing the game. I am told that it is a frustrating game and a very minuscule number of people possess the ability and talent to become good at it. Realizing that my talents at sports are sorely lacking, I decided to give golf a pass.
I was told many times that it is an excellent venue for networking. I was led to believe by my contemporaries, while on active duty and after I retired, that I could further my career by playing with the boss and other influential people.
I remember a new Commanding Officer reporting aboard the Oiler I was in, with a set of golf clubs. The Captain was an avid golfer, and apparently good at it. Within a week, CPO berthing resembled a club pro shop with golf clubs and golf bags taking up every empty space. Junior officers were carrying golf clubs on and off the ship so often that one could have thought that it was part of their uniform.
When the Captain went to play, just by coincidence, there were CPO’s, an occasional PO1, and officers from the ship at the course waiting for a start time. They were all vying to have the CO join their group or to be invited to join his group. The brown nose and suck were operating at maximum torque.
We left Pearl Harbor for WestPac with golf clubs stored in every available space. Golf tournaments were planned for Subic (the only holes I was playing there were surrounded by hair or lipstick), Hong Kong, Japan, and every other port. The Chief Radioman wrote messages arranging golf tournaments and reserving tee times for each port. He became the de facto “Golf Officer and the CO’s (to use a term from Dickens) ‘lickspittle’”.
While they were out in the hot sun making their points and searching in the weeds for a little ball, I was usually in a dark cozy bar with a frosty in front of me and a hottie by my side. If I had played their game, perhaps I could have retired as a Senior or even Master Chief. But, I always felt that doing my job as best I was capable of would be enough. I don’t believe that playing golf made a difference. I tend to think that someone who rises to the rank of Captain in our Navy can see through a bunch of phony assholes.
Every now and then I would let a particularly pretty Olongapo LBFM talk me into taking her to the base to play miniature golf.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy watching the LPGA and Michelle Wie bending over to study the green and the lie of her putt. I get much enjoyment from watching the LPGA tournaments. Not so much the PGA!
If any of you are golfers, I apologize. I didn’t write this to piss anyone off. Just expressing my opinion of the game and relating the events leading to that opinion.