I’m beginning to learn that I do some of my best writing when there are clearly, other more important things for me to be doing.  I don’t know what it is? It could be that I’m so absolutely, mind-numbingly bored with my To-Do list task, that has been perpetually progressed from the past few weeks’ To-Do lists, that I am flooded with stories and thoughts to entertain myself… or possibly… I thrive on guilty pleasure?

Anyhow, The Greenbrier Classic, PGA tournament just finished up this weekend at The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Spring, WV. For the past several years, we have had two weeks during the summer, instead of one, with an influx of people, traffic, activity, and often an unusual amount of rain and flies. Actually, the golfers don’t bring in many flies…just the West Virginia State Fair. I actually kind of enjoy all the drama about the traffic. My favorite are the people who are retired or don’t work and wait until the traffic is the thickest to go out to get their bread and milk everyday. Maybe this gives them something to complain about the next morning when they meet at Hardees for breakfast.

I am NOT a golfer, even though I have hit some golf balls. I can see where it would be entertaining though. You don’t have to worry about people throwing balls at you or being hit and knocked down like many other sports. It also sounds like a fabulous excuse to be tied up and unavailable for 4 hours, which is precisely how long my husband tells me it takes to play a round of golf. I have yet however, to come up with a traditionally female gender activity that requires the same demands…. but I’m working on it.

Twice, and not with the same person, I was a “professional golfer’s companion”. It is a very important and I believe, rare role. One time was when I visited my brother at Emory and Henry College in Abingdon, Virginia. They had a really nice 8 hole course. I think they had to sacrifice a hole at some point for campus expansion? I’m not really sure how many they have now but if it is less than 8, I doubt they brag about it in their college recruitment pamphlets; that could leave the false impression that the education you would receive there might also be incomplete. That is where my golfing education began. I asked my brother every question I could think of about golf and provided him with endless verbal entertainment until he told me to be quiet. He would later tell me when I could resume. The other time was with my husband, Rick, at The Glade Springs Resort in Daniels, West Virginia. I drove the cart and kept the scorecard so he could focus on his game. I learned the terms hook, slice, and halfway house; totally an untapped market for PTOs. If those golfers ate half the baked goods they sucked down at hole 9, we’d have a successful fundraising event on our hands! Both times the weather was beautiful and the company even more so. It was fabulous. I’ve asked them both to take me again but somehow it just has never worked out on their end?

While my interest in golf is negligible, I still usually go over to the tournament at least one day to take it all in. This year I went with my sister. We talked and laughed and really just enjoyed being away from anyone who bothers us. The golf tournament sounded like a perfect excuse. However, just like when I watch football, I kept missing every important putt, swing, catch, or tackle because my attention, or lack thereof, kept being turned to people watching, or landscape admiring, or wondering if the people in the beautiful houses, nestled in the mountain sides overlooking the course, were watching the tournament with binoculars or on TV?


My brother, sister, and me!

Well, after 4 consecutive days of golf and 72 holes sunk by all, it was down to a four-man playoff. I’m a very competitive person but not necessarily about sports. At that moment, I really wished that they all could win but I knew very well that the sports enthusiasts present would not be satisfied with this idea or even consider it an option. All I could think about was how hard each one of them had played for the past 4 days; how each and every swing and putt meant so much to their final score and outcome status. No room for error and no starting over everyday.

I find golf scoring interesting. A lot of the time when I don’t understand something that I find curious, I look it up and try to understand it in detail. I have not been driven to do this however with golfing rules or scoring but I think I know the basics. Every course has a par score but this score fluctuates from course to course based on difficulty. I’m assuming that the course designer and a few really good players and a few really bad players get together at Hardees one morning and figure it out. Each hole also has a par score and they seem to range from 3 to 5 strokes; based on length and aggravating factors such as sand traps, water, trees, and turns. Supposedly, on a good day, an average golfer should be able to get their ball from tee to hole in this many strokes. That’s why they include good and bad players at the Hardees meeting; you know, to get the average. It also seems to me that golfers who are not professional find this extremely difficult and throw little fits when they can’t do so.

When you reach the hole in two strokes less than par it is called an Eagle. One stroke less than par is called a Birdie. We have all ready discussed par. (Reread the above if needed. Don’t worry, I sometimes have to reread things too especially if my kids are being loud or I’m hungry. It happens to us all.) One stroke over par is called a Bogey and two strokes over is called a Double Bogey. At this point I should probably research “Bogey” before I continue writing but right now I’m simply not in the mood and would rather make some things up. If you all enjoy it, I promise to never ever look the truth up again, to check myself. before posting my blog. Here it goes…if an Eagle is grand and can soar, a Birdie is still amazing because it can fly. A Bogey on the other hand must most definitely be a bird, not native to here of course, or we would all be educated about them. Based on their score rank I would assume they have the flying skills much like that of a turkey. A Double Bogey would have to be two Bogey Birds tied together at just one leg. If you then imagine them trying to coordinate a three legged race just before attempting to jump into the air and fly, that would explain their position in the scoring. I’m sure that is all correct. Please don’t check or correct me, I like to be right.  I don’t know what happens after Double Bogey but I will think about it. If you enjoy reading about poultry check these out: The Willies   A Turkey’s LifeimageAn actual photograph of a Bogey bird is extremely rare, therefore I had Harrison illustrate one for me:) I believe it is spot on!

I am actually kicking myself right now. I just had a very convincing door-to-door book sales woman leave my house who was an exchange student from the European country of Estonia. Estonia is just off the southern tip of Finland; she showed me a map. I bet they are covered up with Bogey birds there! She probably had an entire educational book, all about them, in her car and that was the ONE that I didn’t end up buying!

One more thing…what is with this handicapping system? It had to have been designed by a very intelligent yet poor golfer. He must have been sick and tired of being smoked out on the course all day every day, and he needed an excuse to say he beat someone. In addition, his skilled golfing buddy, who was first convinced that this system seemed rational and was later beat for the first time that afternoon, probably has an extensive library sold to him by an Estonian door-to-door book sales woman. “They” say it’s in place so golfers with differing abilities can compete evenly against one another or to allow you to determine how you should or would possibly perform on a course you are unfamiliar with. Others say it is simply a numerical representation of a golfers potential….but I don’t buy it. I DON’T BUT IT! It really is quite confusing. I mean…multiply the number you got from subtracting your most recent scores from something else on your past twenty rounds of golf by the slope of the course to get your differential? Does it really take 20 rounds of golf to determine how sub-par you are? Without a doubt however, Handicapping 101 is most definitely the weeder course for the hopeful golf majors. I think it would make more sense to consider factors such as: age (of course on an exponential curve), previous sports injuries with residual deficits, and most importantly: the average amount of beer or other alcoholic beverages consumed while playing a typical round.

Can you imagine getting a hole in one? I mean that’s crazy!!!! I bet it would feel amazing! Well…. I guess not to everyone? I’m sure that there are some people, in other professions, who would hate to get “a hole in one”. Take for example, the furniture delivery man. It would be terrible to have to tell your boss that you got “a hole in one”. I don’t know about you, but if I were him, and was having to respond to, “how did the deliveries go today, Sooz?”, from my boss; I might try, “well, I got an Eagle on a PAR 3” and keep going. A lie wasn’t told and I’d simply hope my boss wasn’t an avid golfer or was too prideful to ask for clarification.

I did feel sorry for the golfers and the big time fans that were there everyday, all day in the rain. I guess they all just know that comes with the territory and have gotten used to it over the years. We all have environmental issues to deal with in the workplace. There are days at my office where the air conditioning is so severely abused that even after putting on a light sweater, my old patients and I are uncomfortably cold.  The Arctic temperatures definitely effect my concentration and performance. We all know that we’re not in charge of the weather; God is. At my workplace, I’m not sure who’s in charge of the thermostat but I’m well aware that I’m not. But do I complain? No. I just have to deal with my environmental circumstances just like a professional golfer. It is exactly the same. We are all just trying to earn a living.

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