Everyone loves the Masters Tournament.
Even non-golfers like the Masters. It’s a sign of spring and a good excuse to take a weekend afternoon nap.
Those of us who play golf like it even more. It means golf season is here and that it’s time to get the clubs out of the garage again.
But there is a third category of person who watches the Masters. He is Golf Guy. Anyone who has played golf knows Golf Guy.
Golf Guy loves golf like nothing else. It is all he has. It is very sad.
Let’s get to know Golf Guy better.
Like any weirdo you might choose to dress up as for Halloween, getting the right costume for Golf Guy is of utmost importance.
To pull off the look of Golf Guy, you will want to start with a pair of pants that exists somewhere in the realm between khaki cargo pants and tan dress pants. Look for some tan, cotton-blend pants with a bit of a sheen to them. Think high-end Dockers.
Next, buy several dozen short-sleeve polo shirts. These will be the only shirts you own for the rest of your life. The more boring the better, but mixing in a few extremely ugly ones that don’t go with anything -- even tan pants somehow -- is fine, too. Wear them tucked in with a belt and seriously consider buttoning the shirt all the way up to the top button.
Now, look in the mirror. Do you look like a perfect mix between accountant on a casual Friday and 5-year-old boy dressed by his mother for school picture day? Do you look like Davis Love III? Would people look at you and think: “I bet that guy drives a Buick and loves Hootie and the Blowfish.” The answer to all three questions should be "yes" or you don’t have the look right.
Golf Guy always dresses as though he just stepped off the golf course, or could step on the golf course at any moment, or is on the golf course right now, as Golf Guy must always be ready for the possibility of some golf.
Golf Guy talks about golf constantly. Golf is all that interests Golf Guy. And Golf Guy believes that his golf game is all that interests you.
You know that guy who tells everyone about how his fantasy team is doing? Or the guy who talks about the bad beat he had in his weekly poker game? Or the people who show all of their vacation photos? Every. Single. One? After a while -- it could be minutes, days, months or years -- they usually sense their audience’s disinterest and move on.
Not Golf Guy. Golf Guy possesses no such self-awareness. At every opportunity, Golf Guy will attempt to regale you with tales of how he almost eagled that par-5, but left the eight-foot putt short. Or of how that low 6-iron he hit into the wind was just the right shot because the pin on No. 8 was back so he could roll the ball up. Or how his wedge play has been really crisp lately, but he needs to dial in his long irons to really start scoring well.
Golf Guy talks about his golf game as though he were Phil Mickelson. Listen to a Mickelson news conference. Each decision, each slight gust of wind or change in ball flight gets 10 minutes of explanation.
I saw a baseball game a few nights ago, and a player had two strikes on him with runners in scoring position, so he choked up on the bat, shortened up his swing and slapped the ball through the middle for a hit. It wasn’t a game-winning hit, but it played a difference in the game. Did the player hold court afterward, telling all who would listen about the epic machinations that went into that single? He did not, thankfully. Baseball players don’t talk like Mickelson. They don’t talk like Golf Guy. “I saw the rotation of the pitch. Just as I expected … a cutter! My study of the pitcher’s tendencies led me to believe a cutter would be thrown in this situation. And now it was so. As the ball headed toward me, I noticed the wind direction had changed ever so … .” Ten minutes later: “ … as the swing progressed, I shifted my weight onto my front foot so the swing path would … .” Make it stop. Please.
Here’s the thing: At least every Mickelson shot has significant money in the balance. There are people watching on television. There are those who are probably interested to hear one of the world’s best players talk for 20 minutes about how the barometric pressure or whatever affected his decision to putt out of the fringe on No. 7.
Not so for Golf Guy. All Golf Guy is doing is telling you about how he shot an 82 at the muni course out past the Target. It means nothing. No one is interested. No matter to Golf Guy. To him, it means everything.
Golf Guy is a golf company’s dream. Golf Guy and his ilk are all that keeps these places in the black.
Golf Guy is always in search of a new driver. A new set of irons. Maybe a new lob wedge. Golf guy owns approximately 35 putters. Golf Guy honestly believes that the reason he doesn’t shoot in the 60s might be because he hasn’t yet found the right clubs with the right grips and degrees of loft and head weight and whatever. It could be because he’s a generally unathletic guy with poor hand-eye coordination and little strength. Could be. But it also could be that Golf Guy hasn’t tried out this new $500 driver yet. No way for Golf Guy to know for sure unless he buys it. Nope. That new driver didn’t fix him. The next one might, though.
Know that Golf Guy also will tell you each time he gets new equipment. It’s his second-favorite topic of conversation outside of what he shot in his last round (and the circumstances of each shot, of course).
Oh. This is important. Whatever you do, don’t ever enter Golf Guy’s basement or garage. It looks like some demented toymaker’s workshop. Absurd golf training aids, things so ridiculous that the worst snake oil salesman would refuse to hawk them, fill the shelves and litter the floor. Things such as the Potty Putter and the Hook/Slice Talking Swing Meter. Thousands and thousands of dollars have been spent on this cheap crap, all for the possibility of maybe shaving a stroke.
None of them have worked. But the next one might … especially if paired with the perfect new set of irons.
Golf as religion
Golf is not a pleasant warm-weather activity for Golf Guy. No, golf is everything. Golf informs life. Life informs golf. Neither exists without the other.
Golf Guy’s bookshelves are full of books with titles like these, all of which he has read cover to cover.
"Fathers. Sons. Golf. Life. Heaven."
"Greatest Life Lessons from Caddies"
"Morning Dew Upon Fresh-Cut Green on Pinehurst’s No. 7: Golf Poetry."
I made up all of those titles, but there very well might be actual books with those names. I don’t know. I was too scared too look.
Golf Guy believes that it was golf that made him the success he is today. Could it be that he was merely blessed to grow up in a family that could afford to play golf -- and therefore also probably had the money to spend on education, camps, nest eggs and the like? That maybe it wasn’t golf itself? That maybe golf isn’t accessible to everyone?
Nonsense! Nothing like that was mentioned in the book "Golf: How It Makes You a Success."
A funny golf joke has never been told. Well, that’s probably not fair. Or true. But if there was a funny golf joke, it has been beaten into the ground so often by Golf Guy that it has been killed.
Want to know the hardest part of playing golf? It’s not the physical part. It’s not thinking through each shot. It’s mentally dealing with five hours of groan-inducing golf jokes.
Many of Golf Guy’s favorites are sexist. Hit a putt short? Something something about you wearing a skirt! Fail to clear some water with a shot? Does your wife play!
Good ones all.
Golf Guy also likes to talk about “the wife,” his “old lady” and the “old ball and chain” and that even the worst day out on the course is better than being at home.
Little does Golf Guy know, “the wife” probably feels the same way and loves when he’s away playing golf, too, because she realized too late that she was marrying The Golf Guy.