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Golf: A Four-Letter Word

G - O - L - F

"Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun" —Jim Bishop

 The objective is simple, use a club to hit a little white ball into a small cup on the ground and do it with the least amount of strokes possible. Simple! Now, try playing golf and you'll find it's anything but simple.

To get a sense of just how difficult this game is, go to a golf course and observe the players and you'll notice what most players fail to realize. There's an element of surprise to the game; the surprise is people don't play as well as they think they do. When you watch golfers, you'll eventually see the one thing amateurs and professionals all have in common - FRUSTRATION!

Golf: A Four-Letter Word

"Angry" Golf Ball

Gals, Gossip, and Golf

"They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken." —Raymond Floyd

 I joined a local women's golf group a few months after learning how to play. Every Tuesday morning the gals got together to gossip and golf (at times it was more gossip than golf).

One morning, I was playing poorly. I was happy to have a short putt to end my round on the 18th green.  "I could make this in my sleep," I smugly thought to myself.  I stepped-up to my ball and hit it with confidence—a little too much confidence. My ball rolled straight over the hole and about four feet past. I looked up at my playing partners sheepishly. I was feeling embarrassed and thoroughly defeated. But then one of the women said, "That's why golf is a four letter word!" We all laughed, and I realized that every golfer experiences a bad shot, hole, or round. 

Worst Golf Shots on PGA Tour-YouTube

Numbers Count

Glass Golf Ball

"Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore,’ shoot six, and write down five.” —Paul Harvey

 In golf, if you can count you can keep score. To keep a correct score, however, you must count every swing, with the exception of practice swings. 

The problem I've noticed, is that when amateurs play they forget how to count!  I watched an accountant post a score of six after taking eight strokes on a par five!

Golf Terms

  • Hole-in-one or Ace:  The ball went into the hole with one stroke.
  • Condor: Four strokes under par
  • Albatross: Three strokes under par
  • Eagle: Two strokes under par
  • Birdie: One stroke under par
  • Par: Equal to par (3,4,5, or 6)
  • Bogey: One stroke over par
  • Double Bogey: Two strokes over par
  • Triple Bogey: Three strokes over par
  • Quadruple Bogey: Four strokes over par

 Any more strokes over par and you should consider playing another sport.

Lessons From The Best

Ben Hogan Walking

"Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing" —Ben Hogan

 The golf swing is deceitful; it looks simple but in reality the mechanics of a swing are complicated.  The average spectator will never notice all the technical factors of a golf swing simply by watching a professional in action.

A good swing is difficult to master, it requires initial concentration and takes a tremendous amount of practice to build up a repeating swing. Even when you have a great swing, you will not be able to repeat it one hundred percent of the time, and there will always be room for improvement. That's one reason top ranked professional golfers continue to employ coaches.

Woodland Hills Country Club Golf Cartoon-YouTube

[G]entlemen [O]nly [L]adies [F]orbidden

Pelican Hill Resort Golf

Some people believe the word golf is an acronym for Gentlemen Only - Ladies Forbidden, and, unfortunately, this attitude is still prevalent in some private courses. For example, Augusta National Golf Club, to this day, will not allow women to become members.  Also, the historic Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, until recently, featured a sign outside the clubhouse behind the 18th green that read, "No dogs or women allowed." 

 I was affected by this male chauvinism once when I went to a course with my husband (for a 7 a.m. tee-time) only to discover that women were not allowed to play before 10 a.m. The men, on-the-other-hand, were allowed to play anytime. 

 As repulsive as that chauvinistic behavior is, I will not let the prejudice of a few old dinosaurs ruin the game for me.  I believe eventually, like all dinosaurs, the discrimination in golf will be extinct. 

Another "Four-Letter" Word

Aviara -- Hole 14

"When I die, bury me on the golf course so my husband will visit." —Author Unknown

Two men were about to play a round of golf when one said to the other "Why do you have four caddies?"  The second man replied "My wife wants me to spend more time with the kids."

I have a theory as to why so many men spend so much time on the golf course: Men, by nature, are conquerors but they can never conquer golf—so they keep at it. Playing and practicing as often as they can, they are always trying to do better, in hopes that one day they will play the perfect game. (They don't care that it'll never happen.) 

 —Yes, the game of golf may be a four-letter word but so is love, and that is the word most players use when describing how they feel about golf!

Caddyshack Theatrical Trailer-YouTube

Find More Information Here

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals of Golf

Top Ten Female Golfers on the LPGA Career Money List

The Top Five Female Golfers of All Time

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