Thursday, May 13, 2021

Just a Game

     In the delightfully casual golf league I belong to in Florida, members routinely take do-overs, move their balls with abandon, only count swings that actually connect with the ball, or, like Betty – one of my favorites there – don’t even keep score at all. And everyone is just fine with that.

     My grim league here in Massachusetts begins the season by emailing out three pages of rules to everyone. One woman routinely lies about her score. Another somehow keeps track of not only her own score, but also keeps an eagle eye on the number of swings everyone else took as well. And, according to rule #24, if you have too many strokes before you get to a hole, you have to stop at that point, write down double par plus two, and put an X over the score. I suppose this is to broadcast what a poor excuse for a golfer you are; instead of an “A” on your chest, you have a big black X on your scorecard. When you finish your round, each group must submit two scorecards, signed by the members of the foursome. I’m surprised there’s not a notary with a polygraph machine waiting at the clubhouse.

     Still, some of the ladies are perfectly kind, and it’s nice to get out in the fresh air, so I keep going back for more. All this said, I was a tad nervous today when I arrived for my first game of the season. However, I hit the lottery when I drew Pat and Alice as the other two in our threesome. Neither one gave a hoot about the rules, and both were just there to play.

     This was reassuring to someone (me) who holds the biggest handicap in the league. Unlike baseball, having a big number of anything in golf is never good.

     As it turned out, we were pretty evenly matched, with final scores only a couple of points either way. I guess this would have been more of an accomplishment for me if Pat weren’t on the other side of 90 (age, not score), and Alice hadn’t herself been in her 80’s and blind in one eye. By the way, Pat won.



  1. You have to count the number of swings? I thought you only counted the number of hits to get the ball in the hole. I've never held a club other than a putter I used to get the ball into a glass in the living room. I guess you can tell?

  2. Florida rules would suit me much better.
    I already feel inadequate on too many levels to add another category to the list.

  3. I am sure it is wonderful to get out there on a nice day.

  4. So nice to find a good group of like minded golfers, rather than cutthroats. Who cares about such things anyway?

  5. too many rules and an overeager rule monitor take all the fun out of an activity.

  6. When I played, I stopped counting strokes after 5, plus I walked ahead so as not to delay the game. After three putting attempts I picked up the ball and went to the next hole. It made for a quick, efficient game, without making the other players crazy waiting for me. After two years of golf, we gave up, sold the clubs, got new hobbies.


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