I believe it was Clint Eastwood who said that a man gets to know the limitations of his buddies through playing golf, an aphorism that never more true than during a week-long trip to a place like Palm Springs. Now, these are people I’d gladly spend more time with, at dinners like we had at the excellent IW Club in Indian Wells. And during the wholly amusing exercise of following an i Phone’s directions to a golf course and going in circles, when a paper map would have had us there 20 minutes earlier.
In any event, these are civil people. You don’t get invited back on hundreds of press trips if you don’t play well with others, are relatively charming and behave in public, especially around clients and sponsors. But out on the far reaches of a golf course on an otherwise empty desert where no one can see? Oh, my.
The kindly, caring and mild-mannered grandfather hits a few bad shots and suddenly, it’s David Banner expanding into The Incredible Hulk, shirt splitting open and bug-eyed with rage over falling behind his competitor in the $5 Nassau. As total decompensation sets in, clubs are pounded into the turf and the self-loathing makes one want to put the poor bugger out of his misery, only fury is very temporary and his back to the caring grandfather before the next shot
There’s the smoothie who for some reason, halfway through the round, develops a bladder that shrinks to the size of a vol’s. I mean, he starts peeing like an off-leash Labradoodle, at every comfort station and remote bushes when necessary. We may need to add a urologist to the next trip. And have I mentioned how competitive these guys are? One of our sponsors is Grow the Game Golf, which allows people in different foursomes to see how their match is unfolding in real time. For those Real Americans addicted to 18-hole scores, this is like mother’s milk and crack blended into a chocolate shake.
And the profanity: I’ve never heard the omnipotent deities from four major world religions evoked in a single sentence insult. I have now – – and it’s an impressive feat of locution. It’s just words and I don’t care in the least. But it’s an awfully good thing there’s no lightning here at this time of year, or we’d have all be smote into ashes on the 14th tee box.
Of course, I know my limitations, too. But I’m not going there today.