Gut Rumbles
 

February 14, 2008

I am going to play again

Originally published June 30, 2003

I posted a Catfish email about golf and I got a lot of comments, most from people who never played golf. I haven't played since July 5th, 2001. I remember that last round as if it were yesterday. I always remember when I play for money.

I won money that day, with a 205-yard five wood shot over 200 yards of water on the 18th hole that ended up ten feet from the flag. I drilled that fucking shot and then I sank the putt for all the money.

Then, I put my clubs away one week later and I have not picked them up since. My life fell apart.

To me, golf has been the most daunting game I've ever played. It's you against the course. You can't blame anything on anybody but yourself if you fuck up. But if you come into #18 with $80 riding on your next shot and your competitor has carried the water and put his shot on the green 40 feet from the hole, you CAN'T lay up. You also realize that if you fuck this shot up, it's all over but the crying. That's when golf really becomes golf.

You KNOW that you can hit that shot, because you've done it before, and you just have to believe. So, you do it.

When it comes off the club, you know. Before you look up to see the ball you're already saying, "Be the right stick, baby!" It felt crisp when you hit it and it was just right. You watch that sucker headed for the green and say "Get UP, you sonofabitch! Be the right stick!"

When the ball clears the water by five feet, bounces on the rim of the green and rolls up right in front of the pin, you feel almost as if you just had an orgasm. I DID IT!!!

People who don't play golf don't understand that feeling. People who don't play poker don't understand that feeling. It ain't like watching grass grow. It's hanging your ass out there with nobody but yourself to depend on. When you do it right, it is BETTER THAN SEX! Especially when you sink the putt and get called a Lucky Sumbitch by the guy who has to slap leather and pay you $80 because you did what you had to exactly WHEN you needed to.

Golf is a sublime game. It will check your character. Especially when you gamble on it.

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