While others pursue various conservative programs to make golf faster and more fun and thus attract scads of new players– programs such as Barney Adams’s Tee It Forward, the PGA of America’s Golf 2.0 (wonder how many consultants were paid to come up with THAT name) or Play Golf America’s cringe-worthy “Get Golf Ready”– I’ve created an initiative of my own that will make the game both faster and more enjoyable for everyone, but especially more enjoyable for cranky misanthropes like me. I introduced this innovative concept on Peter Kessler’s radio show a few weeks ago to the notice of almost nobody other than Peter. (And by the way– in this current golf climate, how can a guy like Peter Kessler not have a TV show when he’s the greatest broadcaster of the game to ever clip a mic to his blue blazer? It’s just further evidence of the steep decline of our great pasttime.) At any rate, I call my new program “Cliche it Forward.”
While some decent players I know set a goal for themselves of not making a double bogey in 18 holes of golf, I’ve set myself the far more difficult task of trying to play an entire round without uttering a single golf cliche. Sometimes I am disappointed early when someone misses a four-foot putt six feet to the right and I mutter, “How did THAT not go in?” Recently, I was playing with a group of perky older gentlemen and I made the tactical error of exclaiming out loud– as if they might not have heard it before– the quite exhausted line about ball positions and Brokeback Mountain. It was as if I was floating above the golf course, watching myself speak the words but helpless to make them stop. You know exactly what I am talking about, and you’ll be doing an invaluable service to all who enjoy the great game if you take up this challenge to help grow golf by making your own rounds cliche free.
While watching a soccer game on TV last week I was surprised to see the referee proffer a yellow card to a player who obviously should have been more careful in the choice of the words he issued to an opposing player whom he was helping to fall down painfully to the ground. Can’t all of us who play golf agree that the rules of our sport should call for a one-stroke penalty to be assessed to any player who claims that any particular dog “will hunt” suggests that any golf ball “get legs” or “hit a house” (unless, in fact, it’s about to actually hit a house), or queries his opponent who just left a birdie putt short as to whether his wife plays golf, too? Furthermore, any mention of the name “Alice” on the putting green in circumstances where nobody in the foursome is named or married to or dating or planning to have dinner with someone named Alice anytime soon, should incur a penalty of stroke, distance, and a forged composite rap to the shin bone.
I hope you, dear reader, will not underestimate either the challenge involved in playing a cliche-free round of golf nor the importance of doing so to the survival of our great but increasingly maligned game. Even just by giving this critical imperative your best effort you will, most certainly, at least in my book, be da man.
This week the Golf Road Warriors will attempt to play cliche free golf while visiting the six great courses at Reynolds Plantation. Stay tuned for further information. Operators are standing by. Post no bills. A bad day of golf is better than a good day at the office. And so on.
And please feel free to leave your own golf cliche here for us to add to our upcoming book 10,000 Golf Cliches to Utter Before You Die.