Golf Game

by

Brent CannonSomebody recently asked me if I play golf. I hesitated to respond. I have clubs. I hit a ball on a golf course with them. But sometimes I don’t know if what I do can be called golf.

I enjoy golf. But golf is one of those sports that you have to work at and play often to be really good. Otherwise, you have to accept the idea that you are not Tiger Woods and just enjoy the game.

I played a couple of weeks ago, for the first time in many months. I got a birdie on one hole. I am really happy when I finish a hole, and it has a name. You can eagle a hole. You can birdie, par, bogie or double bogie. All of those things have names. Many times, what I shoot does not have a name. You get into seven, eight, ten strokes a hole and it no longer has a name. Well, none I can mention here anyway.

If you watch golf on TV you will see dozens of commercials for the latest and best balls on the market. They all tout improved technology that makes them fly further than all the rest. I just want one that won’t go off course. I want one that stays in the grass. I’m not really big on having a brand new ball. In fact, brand new balls make me nervous. I hate to tee up with one because I fear I’ll lose it. I get all tense and that ruins my swing.

I like having an old, scuffed up ball. Maybe one I found that has “Fred” written on it in felt marker. Fellow golfers ask, “You playin’ the Calloway ball?” I say, “No, it has Fred on it.” I also think I am having a great round of golf if I come home with more balls than I started with. While searching for my ball in the out of bounds area, I often come across another long lost ball, and get to add it to my collection. Another sign of a good round is if I finish with the same ball I started with.

I believe in unlimited “Mulligan’s.” If I were on tour, I’d play by all the strict rules. But I’m not. PGA pros have one chance to hit their best shot. But I need a few tries. Usually one “practice” shot and then the “real” one.

On the other hand, I do not believe in “gimmies.” If my ball is six inches from the hole and somebody says, “That’s a gimmie” – they are sadly mistaken. I could easily blow that shot.

If I have a good day, I don’t cheat, and follow all the rules, I will be very happy if I shoot in the upper 90’s. But I admit, it is very possible I will be in triple digit territory. A 105 is not uncommon.

Brent Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

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