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Thursday, October 09, 2008
Bad golf my way
Golf probably isn't the best pursuit for someone like me, given my limited career prospects, inability to understand handicaps, a natural tendency to get a little reckless whenever I have the opportunity to drive a golf cart (I'm actually sad to say I've never rolled one but I did have to jump out of one yesterday when I didn't set the emergency brake properly) and my current mailing address somewhere a few blocks south of bulls-eye for the brewing capitalism apocalypse. Golf is a game of kings, possibly lords or at least knights and, in the land of tired feudal metaphors I am but a lowly serf living in a hut made out of pig poop.
I'm also incredibly bad at it.
I blame too much mini-golf as a child for all of this. Don't let anyone tell you that the Family Fun Center in Wilsonville doesn't offer at least one kind of gateway drug. While a life-long unrequited love affair with the game is probably better than an addiction to some combination of meth and roofies, I moved on to full-fledged golf sometime in college and, despite hitting the links at least three whole times a year, I don't seem to be getting any better. While I've become fairly apt at keeping the ball on the right fairway I have a real problem with getting it to fly further than thirty yards. And clearing water hazards? Yeah, I have yet to actually do that. Even once.
Fortunately, the Portland area has several solid public courses that don't cost much more than a price of a movie to play on. $14 - $20 buys at least two hours of entertainment and access to an infinite amount of sports bloopers. Earlier this summer I watched a guy somehow tee off from the hole next to mine and send his ball flying across two fairways and into the driving range. A few years ago someone I know, who will remain nameless, managed to clear a difficult water hazard at RedTail....by hitting a duck. The ball bounced off one of its wings and it landed about five yards from the green.
I've played both the front and the back nine holes at Eastmoreland in the last month and that second half is killer for a sub-sub par player like me. Part of the course runs alongside train tracks. If passing locomotives don't prove daunting, the numerous amounts of waterways will. There's also ducks and geese that hang around the nearby rodendrum garden, not that they've gotten in the path of any projectiles. They just seem to enjoy quacking and squawking at the most inopportune of times. Like when I'm about to tee off, am teeing off and immediately after I botch teeing off.
With winter rapidly approaching (seriously, it's friggin' freezing outside right now), my clubs will probably sit in a corner until next spring, allowing me to forget everything, if anything, I learned on the links this summer. I'll probably never play Pebble Beach, mostly because I'll never be able to afford the $500+ greens fee, but I'll be satisfied if I can one day conquer the fourth hole at Eastmoreland.