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golf according to charlie

Golf According to Charlie

I ‘m a golf expert. What are my qualifications you might ask? Well, in 1996, I finished 39th at the Buick Classic. Tiger Woods was 43rd. Now that we have established my credentials, let’s go over my thoughts on the way golf ought to be.

My number one pet peeve is the tee time. I’d like to meet the idiot who came up with the concept of tee times and hit him right in the mouth. One should not be required to determine six weeks in advance the exact time at which a round of golf will commence, much less who it will be played with. My home club allows members to secure tee times two days in advance. As we have 1100 members, you can imagine what the pro shop is like at 8am on Thursday mornings. You have to be a speed dialer to play on Saturdays. And I really hate the computer tee time management systems some of fancy clubs have. Make me deal with one of those and I’ll be cutting grass every weekend.

A much more efficient system is to have the golf professional manage the various groups of players to give them a range of when they could expect to play. The young guys who like to gamble are the first one’s out. Let’s send the ladies after that. You wouldn’t want to send the ladies in front of these guys, as they would start betting on the ladies. “I bet you a hundred Mrs. Johnson takes at least 6 practice swings.” “Double or nothing says Mrs. Smith just fell asleep in the cart.” Next will come the doctors and lawyers. Nobody else can stand playing with them and besides, they deserve each other. Following closely would be the group that includes me. Those players that are too cheap to gamble and too lazy to get up early. This is the group where everyone is talking and no one is listening. It’s also the group that stops for lunch at least once and on occasion has a player put some vaseline on the face of a driver. And finally, we get to the serious uptight golfers. These are the guys that have a copy of the Rules of Golf in their bag. No mulligans allowed. Putt everything out. Smiling or idle chitchat prohibited. Real golf with a purpose sort of a thing. These folks do golf stretches before rounds and cool downs afterward. Conversation is limited to spin rates, coefficient of restitution, launch angle, and the demise of hickory shafts. This group must tee off last; otherwise nobody will finish before dark.

Golf carts. Much has been written about these great monstrosities. The worst 3 words in golf are “cart path only.” I say either walk and carry your bag or ride all over the ranch. There is nothing in this whole world worse than standing on a tee and watching a golfer in front of you walk back to the cart because he has the wrong club. Especially when you know he’ll get the same results with the one he has in his hands.

I really love the folks with the pull carts and trolleys. If you use a trolley and you sense that good golfers think you are an idiot, then you are dead on. Pulling a trolley is only about 10 times more cumbersome than carrying a golf bag. And besides it’s really hard to throw a trolley…tough to get a good grip. I recently spent some time at the PGA show in Orlando. They had all kinds of trolleys; big wheelers, four wheelers, and some that were remotely controlled. They had one that looked like a lunar rover. You strap some pager-looking device to your belt and the contraption follows you around like a puppy dog. I grew up playing golf at the Fort Mill golf course in Fort Mill, SC. If you ever want to get beat up and thrown in a ditch, show up at the Fort Mill golf course with a remote controlled golf trolley.

Dress codes at golf courses make no sense to me. A sign on the first tee at Uncle Remus Golf Course in Eatonton, GA reads “No tank tops, No muscle tees, No fishnet shirts.” I say if someone wants to play golf in a fishnet shirt, let them have at it. In some ways, the absence of a dress code can be quite beneficial. Golfers are always looking for excuses. “Well of course I hit that ball out of bounds. How am I supposed to focus when Bubba over there is wearing a fishnet tank top?”

As a former PGA Tour player, I can tell you the worst pairing in golf is to be stuck behind a group of fat guys wearing plastic spikes. Lets face it, the real reason plastic spikes have become mandatory at many courses is the fact that course owners don’t have to replace flooring in and around clubhouses nearly as often as facilities that allow traditional spikes. One of my best buddies is CEO of the worlds largest carpet manufacturer and he HATES plastic spikes. Ask PGA Tour players if they would rather putt over an old fashioned spike mark or Coke bottle cap dents and they’ll take the spike marks every time.

And finally we get to the item that really, really, bothers me the most. One of the greatest traditions in all of golf is the Sunday lunch buffet. After the last “amen” there has always been a mad dash from the church to the country club. In the South, this is a way of life. The challenge is to stuff your gut and then race to the first tee in order to get in 18 holes before sunset. The problem is that you always seem to get stuck in the buffet line behind a gaggle of blue-haired church ladies. You want to get to the roast beef and pecan pie while they are picking through the baby corn. It’s truly a miracle that this phenomenon hasn’t yet led to the loss of life or limb. Don’t blame the church ladies. It’s not their fault. The blame should be placed squarely on the club manager. Clearly the CMAA has failed to address this issue. Place the deserts first, followed in precise order by: meats, other hot entrees, bread, butter (not margarine), anything else that is white, green, or yellow, and lastly the salad paraphernalia stuff (including margarine). The guys can get their fried chicken, pecan pie, and 18 holes. The church ladies can pick at the beets, broccoli, and tofu until the cows come in. It’s really an embarrassment to human kind that it took someone so long to figure this out. Not to mention the fact that the “someone” is me.

Did I mention I’m a golf expert?


Anthony Gray said:

If you eliminated flannel shirts, you would not have golf where I come from.

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