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 52 - Blame the Equipment

“It’s not me, can’t be”

You gotta blame something when a simple shot goes astray. Fat shots, hosels, thin-to-win, pulls, pushes, ducks, s***** and worm burners. The ball is just sitting there, how hard can it be? Especially if you practice.

But the errant shot happen to every golfer, at every level. Hello Sergio.

How many times have you seen an outfielder muff a fly ball and as he walks back to his position, he looks at his glove. Like it was the glove’s fault. It’s human nature.

“It’s not me, can’t be”

That’s why when our clubs go ‘clubbing’ they often complain about getting blamed for OUR lousy swings.

Taking responsibility for your own mistakes is an oft repeated lesson in golf. But a lesson that never seems to gain permanence.

More likely is a visit to the golf store for a remedy or quick fix. And a trip to the garage for your driver.

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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 40 - Tiny Greens

What is worse, tiny greens or intimidatingly long holes?

Both pose their own issues but for me tiny greens can be maddening. And I have deeper thoughts about postage stamp greens, but I will save that for another Golf-Toon.

Today’s question is, “Do putting greens shrink over the years?”

At our local muni I’ve noticed the greens seem to have shrunk over the years. The aprons get a little bigger and creep closer and closer to the pin. My guess is this is a maintenance issue, though it could also be an economic challenge.

Keeping a public course open that offers reasonable green fees for the average Joe golfer is something I hold near and dear to my wallet. Not all of us can afford to plop down a couple Ben Franklins for round of golf.

And a lot of courses, public, private, and my favorite designation, the “Semi Private” all face economic pressures. A lot of green goes into those greens. So maybe by making them a little smaller they can keep their doors open.

Am I overthinking this?

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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 38 - Golf Service Dog

I recently read a story about Iraq veterans playing golf with their service dogs. Wouldn’t it be great if we all could go golfing with our dogs!

Think about it. You have a nerve-racking putt, and your mutt sits next to you and calms you down as you give them a good rub behind the ears.

Or say you just chunked a chip and your hound comes over and licks your hand! you would forget about it, how bad could it be?

Dogs also love to chase balls. You could train them to hunt for your ball, saving time and speeding play especially on water holes.

Of course it would be best if they just “pointed” or if they did retrieve, they would need a soft mouth to preserve your Pro V1s or my neon Noodles.

I’m sure there are tons of reasons this is a stupid idea, like cleaning my spikes after stepping in something soft. But I know it would be worth the trouble.

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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 35 - Cradle of Golf

Challenge the origins of golf and you are treading on sacred Scottish turf.

At the website scottishgolfhistory.org the site states it plainly in this soliloquy: “Being the proof as to why golf is definitely, certainly, unquestionably, without doubt, beyond question, indubitably, undeniably, irrefutably, incontrovertibly, incontestably, unmistakably, categorically, decidedly, unequivocally Scottish. Really.”

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Darn. They take this subject more seriously than the taste profile of a dram of single malt.

So I offer this side note to the illustration, the golf club was indubitably, undeniably, irrefutably, incontrovertibly, incontestably, unmistakably, categorically, decidedly, unequivocally planted by an English archaeologist.

I still expect to get a nasty email from Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland.

GolfToons 34 - Voices

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The eternal war for our golfing soul can take on schizophrenic proportions. The battle pitting the forces of conceit versus humble acceptance of our shortcomings.

With our confidence at stake, we try to calm ourself with soothing pre-shot routines.

We try to silence our mind of the endless suggestions and tips that populate our grey matter.

It’s not easy to do, especially when you’re in the midst of a bad round. But next time you hear those voices trying to encourage or erode your game just tell them to shut up and have fun.

Or tell them to talk amongst themselves and you’ll join the conversation next time you’re at the range. Just don’t let anyway see you talking out loud to them.

GolfToons 33 - Clowns on the course

At last summer’s US Open Bryson DeChambeau yelled out in frustration, ”This is clown golf!”

“Gee,” I thought to myself, ”that sounds like a lot of fun.”

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Wearing size 28 golf shoes, gargantuan club heads, and riding around in one of those tiny clown carts would be a blast. Especially if you teed it up at one of those persnickety country clubs. Imagine the sneering! It would probably be so glaring you’d have to wearing giant, cartoonish sunglasses.

But in the staid world of golf I’m guessing the closest we can come to clown golf is wearing some John Daly pants.