BOSTON, Mass – Under normal circumstances, I’d be delighted to report it’s been a long time since my last three-putt, but truth be told, I haven’t teed it up in several weeks because Massachusetts is one of 14 states under a (expletive) golf ban.
Maybe I should blame the Masters being postponed, but lately, until the “all-clear-to-golf” signal is given, I’ve been experiencing strange side effects from my self-diagnosed phobia identified as “lack of golf.”
According to the National Golf Foundation, there are about 23 million golfers in the U.S., with 7 million falling into the “avid” category, implying we are “golf nuts” and “hooked” on golf. The NGF does not have a classification called super-avid golfer, but if you’ve been enmeshed in the game for 10 or more years, you know its addictive ingredients. Some, like me, are super-duper, uber-avid golfers.
Here are my gruesome symptoms:
1. I wake up in the middle of the night ecstatic, thinking the golf ban is lifted.
2. Watching reruns on Golf Channel doesn’t get the juices flowing like it used to.
3. Scanning golf on the Internet is troubling because pro golf is shut down, thus no scoreboard.
4. Opening emails promising game improvement from online videos is a form of harassment.
5. There’s a feeling of emptiness with no live golf on weekends.
6. Reading another golf book is not cutting the mustard.
7. I truly miss Johnny Miller expounding the definition of “choke.”
8. I miss the chiding and razzing after losing a $5 Nassau three ways.
9. Fantasizing about goofy golf jokes such as “take two weeks off and then quit the game.”
10. I terribly miss using golf lingo such as sandy, deuce, chili dip, lag, press, fried egg and dormie.
With all this extra time and nothing to do, I pulled out Webster’s Dictionary and obtained my diagnosis. Apparently, I have an authentic ailment caused by a lifetime of exposure to golf instigated by pushes, pulls, yanks, snap hooks, slices, sand, water and that taboo four-letter word yips.
Affliction: “a condition of pain, suffering or distress.”
Golf: “a game played on a large outdoor course with a series of 9 or 18 holes spaced far apart, the object being to propel a small ball with the use of various clubs into each hole with as few strokes as possible.”
What’s the prescription for golf affliction?
Let’s start with a stroll onto the first tee, proceeded by four hours of striking the little white ball at least 90 times while smiling and loving every precious minute of it.