Golf more recreation than work

By Karl Terry: Freedom columnist

Bob Hope once said “If you watch a game it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.”

I guess it’s recreation because I think my golfing partners on a recent outing will attest that I wasn’t working all that hard at the game. They might not have been impressed but I was pretty pleased that I hadn’t made myself look foolish in some way.

As evidence of my success, consider the following:

• We tied for first in the friendly tournament and we didn’t cheat.

• The sunburn I received didn’t prevent me from sleeping that night.

• We used at least two of my drives to play from in the scramble format.

• I came home with more golf balls than I went out with since the host gave us each a sleeve of balls.

• When I came home that night I didn’t wreck my car as my wife chased me with a nine-iron.

• I didn’t swear within earshot of the preacher.

• I didn’t play in my cowboy boots like one guy I once golfed with did.

As reasons for humility I cite the following:

• That one whiff off the tee.

• The absolutely lousy job I did of chipping.

• That one tee shot over the fence that scattered picnickers.

• That tee shot I hit onto the green. It was only 150 yards and I used my driver.

• The comparison between the distance of my drives and those of my team’s best player.

• My everyday sneakers doubling as golf shoes.

I’ve not done a lot of golfing over the years. This was a just-for-fun church tournament and that’s pretty much the only type of occasion on which I’ve played the game.

Two years ago I finally broke down and bought some clubs and I haven’t been back on a golf course except for the day I bought them.

To me the outing was nothing but a pleasant ride in a golf cart broken up by a sometimes hilarious attempt to hit that little white ball straight. It didn’t hurt a bit that, at lunch, there were hamburgers grilled outdoors.

How could anyone ever get worked up over such a relaxing game?

I would seriously like to play the game a little more often. Maybe even figure out which side of that pitching wedge I should be hittin’ the ball with.

I know for certain that I don’t want to play enough that it becomes work.