GolfToons 57 - Meet Father O'Fairway

Introducing Father O’Fairway. The Most Reverend O’Fairway hails from County Clare, Ireland where he grew up playing the sport of golf from the time he was young lad.

He plays religiously but almost exclusively midweek, as his weekends are occupied by priestly duties.

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Father O’Fairway’s love of golf is rooted in his belief that one must find joy in anguish. Laugh at the Agony, if you will.

As a Jesuit he has taken the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience though he has confessed to making the occasional wager.

Playing to a 9.3 handicap, O’Fairway considers mulligans and gimmies blasphemies to the sanctity of the game.

“Putt them out. The Lord is keeping score,” is a common refrain from him.

GolfToons 56 - Hurricane Golf

A golfer’s willingness to play under “less than ideal” conditions is a testament to their love of the game.

Whether you choose to “weather the weather” or head for the comfy confines of the clubhouse, the mere fact that you drove all the way to the course intending to play should count for something.

Since this is hurricane season here in Florida the importance of clubbing up for wind in your face and clubbing down for wind at your back takes on greater importance.

But the age old question persists: Is there such a thing as a 5 club wind?

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GolfToons 55 - Shirts vs. Skins

Competition. That is a common answer to the question, “What do you love about Golf?”

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Mano a Mano or the comraderie of a two man Best Ball is certainly a fun part of golf, at any level. From the Ryder Cup to an early alarm clock helping us get to rise for an early Saturday weekly tee time.

Old rivalries never die they just change sports. The pickup basketball grudge match just switches venues as the knees give out and the waist lines expand.

Some things never change, and sometimes our competitive spirit can get the best of us. Especially when there’s no one to keep us in check early on a Saturday morning.

GolfToons 54 - Koepka's Loss

The ‘Franken-Golfer’, bits and pieces of your best game cobbled together into a creation that is unstoppable!

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Sort of like handpicking your team for a Scramble. Someone that can launch the ‘Boom Stick’ from the Teebox, a sharpshooter for the approach, a clever short game artist for recoveries and then the Putt-Master with killer instincts.

How long before science allows for a truly supreme golfer, created in a laboratory and destined to dominate Golf In the 22nd century.

And what will they do with all those leftover parts?

 

GolfToons 53 - Blame Your Parents

You hear a lot of excuses on the golf course.

The one excuse you may never hear is blaming a bad shot on the parents. This is a possible extention to one of our early gems, GolfToons 12 - Golf Mom. We have come a long way

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Like almost any noble goal, golf demands accountability, especially towards yourself.

You really can’t blame anyone else, except possibly…

  • The rude playing partner who burps on your downswing,

  • Greens harder than a Wal-mart parking lot,

  • Howling 30 mph crosswinds,

  • Rain saturated fairways,

  • The plugged lie in a bunker wall,

  • The sprinkler head on the green apron,

  • The hapless bird that flies into the path of your ball,

  • or maybe the lightning bolt that takes out your three playing partners.

Other than these few examples, most other excuses seem lame.

GolfToons 51 - Monster Drive

Big hitters. The guys that take a deep breath and you know they’re ready to launch one.

Grip it and Rip it!

Like ‘Big Hitter, the Lama. Long.’ for you Caddyshack lovers.

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These same gents can get a tad sensitive when they push the ball two fairways to the right, or pull a screaming low, hot hook that makes a sound resembling a migratory waterfowl. Monster drivers run hot.

The tee game is so important. Hitting the green in regulation is so much easier from the fairway, than from behind a tree in the rough. Some people learn this fact sooner than others.

Watching the various Long Drive contests you see what can be done with a golf ball. The incredible distance, as well as the dangers of trying to hit the long ball.

 Are you a Monster Driver or are you a Fairway Finder?

GolfToons 50 - Hold the Pose

After you bomb a beautiful drive down the middle of the fairway do you like to hold that follow through pose? I know plenty of golfers that do. Never mind the Tiger club twirl.

One of those blissful moments you want to make last.

It can also be a comedic moment if you hold the pose so long that you elicit comments from your playing partners.

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So next time you crush your driver take a moment or 10 and see how long it takes to draw commentary!

But if you’re golf mates are headed down the fairway it’s best you catch up with them.

GolfToons 49 - Lost Between Holes

The stand alone golf course is becoming a rarity. Increasingly golf courses are just one item on an amenity package for a high end housing development.

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This has led to some vast distances between holes that often requires driving through neighborhoods in search of the next tee box. This phenomena has also forced some modern courses to ban walking and make use of a golf cart mandatory.

The truly “walkable” course design is usually an older course built in the last century and sadly they seem to be going the way of the 3 iron.

GolfToons 48 - Better Lucky than Good

We’ve all experienced luck on the course. The sculled iron that somehow nestles up on the green 6 feet from the pin. Or a shot that ricocheted off a tree back into the fairway. Or the always tricky play off the ball washer.

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The most incredible piece of luck I witnessed was when a friend hit a slightly errant drive that bounced off a pool cage screen, shot straight up into the air, landed on a cart path and then bounced another hundred yards, coming to rest 80 yards from a par 4 green.

He still bogeyed the hole. But that might have gone viral if I had caught it on video.

What’s the luckiest shot you’ve experienced or witnessed?

GolfToons 41 - Astronomical Golf Course Design

The next ‘Space Race’ is well underway with SpaceX and Blue Origin taking on passengers very soon. With multitudes of space tourists venturing out of this world is it unreasonable to think that galactic golf would be soon to follow?

Given the physics of lunar gravity it would require either the longest golf courses in history or the heaviest of golf balls to deal with the challenges of the moon’s environment.

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Much like Sheep Ranch links in Oregon, the design would have to take advantage of the natural elements of the lunar landscape. Instead of shots having to carry water, shots would have to carry craters. Or maybe you turn the craters into the largest bunkers in the universe?

Manufacturers probably have secret lunar golf equipment programs as we speak and real estate developers are ready to unveil golf destinations like Apollo Landings, Lunar Links, or Crescent Moon Country Club.

But the biggest question is will we someday find astronaut Alan Shepard’s Titleist golf ball?

GolfToons 39 - Depants

Creepy behavior has been a hot topic in the media lately.

Political campaign trails, newsrooms, and Hollywood have all been abuzz with accounts of inappropriate behavior. It’s a public conversation that is long overdue and hopefully we can get it all sorted out before someone proposes a strip Nassau bet to me.

There’s no way my Bermuda short are going south of my equator. There’s simply no a-Biden this. And do not even tell me about the Hollywood version of a Skins game.

The riskiest I get is forgetting to tuck my shirt in.

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GolfToons 37 - Mid Life Golf Crisis

Buy a sports car? Take up pickle ball? Have an affair?

Na. You can’t fit the clubs in the sports car.

Heck na. Pickle ball is a fraud. There are no pickles involved at all!

Affairs, contrary to what Hollywood sells us, are like pulling the pin on a grenade to get rid of a bad rash.

Golf is a rarity in sporting pursuits. It is one of the few participant sports that a person can play throughout their life. Your game actually matures, evolves, and changes as you age.

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I know and play with golfers with artificial knees and amputated limbs. You play in spite of diminishing distance off the tee and shift to a 7, then a 6 iron from 150 when you used to hit an 8 iron.

But you forge on and find new ways to play and enjoy the game. You deal with age much as you deal with aging in life. You accept the cards that life deals you and play on!

That’s not to say that we can’ t try to fight back against the ravages of time. We buy better clubs, softer balls, and sharpen the skills that can help us stave off the inevitable.

And a bit of self deceit isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the older I get the better I used to play.

GolfToons 36 - Equipment Confidential

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If our clubs and balls could talk, what would they say? I bet they could bend your ear with golf yarns that would make you wince. Imagine a conversation going like this:

“…and he blames me for chili dipping a chip and threw me in a pond.”

“Well if you think that’s bad, my owner bent me over his knee and played the last six holes with my shaft curved like a banana. Serves him right that he lost $80 three putting the last 4 holes.”

“At least I got some revenge.” says the 9 iron, “Two nights ago he comes sneaking home at 3 o’clock in the morning, the wife grabbed me out of the bag and creases his skull. I gotta say I got more than a little satisfaction not being on the receiving end for a change.”

“Sweet. Dude! Your my hero!”

GolfToons 32 - Novelty Club Head Covers

Sports Therapist are all the rage on the PGA Tour these days, but what do you do if you’re just a weekend hack? What if you can’t afford the expense for a mind probe? Or you just don’t want an entourage.

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Therapists often use dolls or hand puppets for various role playing exercises. This seemed a little strange at first…I mean SEEMS…

Anyway, in many golf bags I see the perfect tool for just such a moment.

And who cares, as long as it lands in the short grass!

GolfToons 31 - Yoga Pants

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Is their nothing that golfers won’t try to add a few yards to their drives?

It seems every morning when I check my inbox there a several emails that promise me more length and most of them are golf-related. The subject lines tantalize you with added distance, increased swing speed, and higher launches. They can be cutting-edge technologies, revolutionary design innovations, newly discovered carbon fibre formulas, or never-before told secret insights that will take your drives to the next level.

The other realm of assistance are the home-spun variety that you encounter on the course. These are the one I fall prey to. They can range from the plausible to the absurd. Like the guy who handed me a blue cloth bag and said “Crown Royal cured my slice.” Honestly, it didn’t work for me but if not for the side effects I swear it improved my putting.

Lately I have run into several golfers who claim major benefits from yoga. But I’m a “quick-fix” kind of guy so just give me the pants and let’s see what happens.

GolfToons 30 - From your Knees

Golfers call penalties on themselves. An interesting byproduct of this aspect of the game, is that often we have to interpret the rules as situations present themselves. Complications can arise when rules are misinterpreted. A friend of mine thought an unplayable lie was anything in a sand trap.

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Rule 14.3 states when taking relief, the ball must be dropped from knee height. There’s a lot more stuff in rule 14.3 but this knee height thing could be misinterpreted especially by the thick-headed that golf amongst us.

There are no rules officials during a typical Saturday morning match at the local Muni. No Slugger Whites. So be patient and be specific when explaining the new rules to the misinformed.

And so the game continues to give back, often in the form of fodder for the 19th hole.

 

GolfToons 29 - In or Out?

It’s but the early days of 2019 and already the new changes to the rules of golf are creating a buzz. The noisiest reaction being the “Leave It In vs. Take It Out” argument. This new rule allows players to leave the flagstick in the hole when putting. It makes sense and should speed play in most instances.

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It seems there are two camps forming. One camp believes leaving the pin in all the time is the best way to go. Called the “In Crowd” they believe the pin helps with alignment and judging distance. And the ball has a better chance of going in, especially on the downhill putts. The physics and field studies seem to be on their side. I saw proof in a YouTube video so it must be true.

The other camp, the “Old Schoolers,” may ignore the option or just bad at remembering new rules. Heck, Phil doesn’t know them yet so cool your jets “In Crowd,” Phil Mickelson is eating lunch at our table. They also feel the pin can be a distraction on shorter putts.

Has it actually sped up play? Probably, but I played a round of golf with both an “In Crowd” and “Old Schooler.” In and out, in and out, in and out, and on to the second hole.

What do you think, in or out?
Are you a member of the “In Crowd” or “Old School” ?

Next week we talk about the 2019 edition of the drop ball for relief rule and the push-back from short golfers.

GolfToons 27 - Gender Bender

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Golfers are always looking for an advantage.  And in the shadow of the new rules of 2019, that could be a better drop, a pin left in the hole or some other creative interpretation of these recent decrees. In addition to the mental warfare between shots where dominance can shift.     

You can always find someone stretching or misinterpreting the rules to their favor.  That is part of the game of golf, especially as the combatants, we serve as judge and jury.  Golfers call penalties on themselves, a unique and glorious aspect of golf.   

 Golf is a test of your character.  The ball is stationary, and action begins only when you decide it is time for the swing to start.   

What is personally out of bounds for you?

How far will you go for an advantage?