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How To Know You’re Essentially
ADDICTED TO GOLF



(Excerpted from Golf, In So Many Words - The 257 Most Essential Things to Know About the Game of Golf by Thomas Finley, 2004 PublishAmerica



Book Cover A number of years ago after a less than rewarding round of golf at the club I came home to spend the balance of my Saturday in the usual manner. The house was empty as the girls had obviously gone shopping. First I took about fifteen minutes to chart my round of golf in my self-developed golfing diary which I keep to rate my play and to look for trends in my game. I fixed myself a sandwich and a soda pop then reclined on the couch to relax and watch a little golf on the tube. Using one of the world’s great inventions, the remote control I quickly discovered that I could switch back and forth between the Byron Nelson Classic in Dallas and the senior event, something called the Centennial or Commemorative or some other traditional sounding name. Golf is big on tradition, as certainly you must know by now.


Within a few minutes I drifted into one of those soothing, semi-conscious states, partly hearing the soft voices of the announcers on television and partly day dreaming, almost sleeping. I believe on that particular day I was day dreaming about getting my game in shape to attempt qualifying for the senior amateur. Could it be possible for a nine handicapper to improve that much in a month or so? I hum the tune from “Rocky” as I ponder this question. Nah, no chance you lame brain! Heck, you can’t even win the second flight in the club championship, much less a senior qualifier. Dream on!


After drifting off to sleep for a while I was awakened by my barking dog and set up on the couch. At this very moment I experienced a very strange sensation. It was as if I was a big old bear coming out of hibernation or a blind man seeing for the first time. I had a revelation! Holy Cow! I look around the family room and I see old hickory shafted golf clubs on the wall. On the bookshelf is a large gold fish bowl full of old golf balls, every brand you can imagine. I see several old score cards from favorite rounds are collecting dust next to a few old trophies. Continuing to look around I find hundreds of old copies of golf magazines bulging out of a cabinet and there are a enormous number of photographs of past golf outings including the Hiccup Cup when I was voted most gross. I see framed golf prints on every wall, more hickory shafted clubs and more trophies in a glass case. I open a table drawer and hundred of old score cards are crammed together and tumble out.


On the coffee table is a favorite book, The Encyclopedia of Golf Collectibles. In the storage room I find three old sets of clubs in two old bags plus a junior set I bought for my daughter. I walked out to the driveway and looked into the trunk of my car I find my regular golf bag and clubs plus three drivers, six putters, a one iron, two wedges and a baffler. Gracious! There is also a shag bag and a shoebox of slightly used golf balls. I sauntered off to my bedroom and noticed that my bedside table had a stack of seven instructional books on golf. I slumped down onto the bed feeling sick to my stomach. Goodness sakes alive! What am I? What have I become? Am I some kind of depraved, golf addict? My thoughts immediately turned to my lovely wife and daughters. What must they think of me? Oh no, I’m sick. My wife is the ultimate golf widow and my children golf orphans. Oh my, what have I become, what kind of person am I?

I just sat there, almost in a daze, thinking about how much my life had been influenced and perhaps changed by this simple little game invented by bored, ignorant sheep herders in far off Scotland. This game of chasing after a little white ball over pasture land with a stick in hand has dominated my life. Even at night in bed I don’t count sheep to fall asleep I review golf shots from my last round. I must be crazy! Maybe I should see a psychiatrist. I could call my friend Jack who is a shrink. But no, no, no...I had just finishing playing 18 holes with Jack and he went back out to play 18 more. He might be worse off than me. What to do?

I hear my family open the door and a smile comes over my lips. “Honey, are you home,” my wife queried, “did you have a nice game today?” Wow she’s great I thought. “Daddy, I brought your a present, it’s the new Golf Digest” my daughter said in a loving way. Boy, she’s great too. Man, am I a lucky guy or what! They still love me in spite of all of the golf, abandonment and stuff. I give my family one big old bear hug, “I love you all so much,” I said softly. “I love you sooo much.” The next thought that came to mind was I needed to call the pro shop and get a tee time for the next day, Sunday. Hopefully she won’t mind if I skip church tomorrow. Gosh, I’m a lucky guy! Now what am I going to do with all those old magazines and scorecards. Maybe there is room in the attic.

As the years have passed since that day of revelation, I have written one golf book which was very successful and I am writing my second. I only play about once a week now but I try to hit a bucket of balls every now and then. I don’t play at the same level any more. I’m a 12 handicap now. But my desire and quest to become a better golfer has never waned. I’ve taken a few lessons but I haven’t allowed any pro to completely rebuild my game. My youngest daughter took up golf and I made her a set of clubs and coached her high school team. I forgot to tell you, I am now a clubmaker with workbench out in the yard house. I make and repair all of my own clubs. When we moved into our new house a few years ago we did the family room in a golf motif. At one point I became vice president of our club and was golf chairman and ran all the tournaments for two or three years. God I love this game but surely I must be an addict. Do you think I need help?. Am I a sick-o?


Here are 20 signs you are probably addicted to golf as well and might need to seek help. You might be addicted...
1. ...when your car trunk has a large tournament golf bag and a complete set of clubs, a second, carry bag, six extra putters, three drivers, eight other assorted golf clubs and a box full of used balls.
2. ...when the top drawer of your chest of drawers is full of score cards and there is no room for your socks. You look through these cards and some are dated from 10 to 20 years ago.
3. ...when you find your socks, some have little golfers embroidered on the sides.
4. ...when you look in the mirror and notice how silly you look wearing boxer shorts with funny little lime green golfers printed all over them.
5. ...when you look through your personal library and you have every book ever written on golf. You could open a bookstore.
6. ...when you try to intelligently discuss with friends the “mystical” golf books Golf in the Kingdom and The Legend of Bagger Vance as if you understood them. You think you enjoyed them but deep inside you really aren’t sure.
7. ...when you spend your lunch hour - everyday - browsing through Pro Golf Discount.
8. ...when your new best friend works behind the counter at the driving range.
9. ...when you actually consider playing a round of golf with your hickory shafted, collectible clubs. You keep putting it off because you don’t have a gutta-percha golf ball or a feathery to make it more realistic.
10. ...when you keep putting off your wife’s desire to go on a cruise because they only have miniature golf on board. Your idea of a real vacation is a golf package.
11. ...when you take up clubmaking and ponder a career change.
12. ...when you trade in your special edition Volkswagon Bug convertible, which is growing in value as a collectible, because it doesn’t have a trunk big enough for all of your golf clubs.
13. ...when you run into your pastor on the street, smile and grab his hand, but he says, “have we met before?”
14. ...when you finally learn how to play that right to left break while practice putting in the master bedroom.
15. ...when you haven’t missed a Heritage Golf Classic in 18 years.
16. ...when you visit your father’s grave and think about how much better the cemetery would look with Tifton 419 dwarf Bermuda turf.
17. ...when your favorite CD’s are all Scottish bagpipe music.
18. ...when you take a whole roll of film - of your own golf course.
19. ...when every Christmas, birthday or Father’s Day gift you have received in the last 25 years from anyone have been something to do with golf.
20. ...when you come home from the golf course and your wife and kids are gone. They have left a note saying they haven’t seen you during daylight hours on a weekend for three years and they are tired of watching The Golf Channel.

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