I've said it before and I'll say it again, golf is the biggest waste of time and money the Scots ever invented.
Too bad it's so addicting.
Myself, I learned the finer points of the game via Osaki Tadamichi no Super Masters for the Sega Genesis during one fine spring break hanging with my brother and best bud at his sister's apartment in Tokyo.
My childhood bud was a decent junior golfer in SoCal and has remained a scratch player since his heady days as a teen link stud. Yet somehow he never managed to get me on a course or interested in the game until that dreaded electronic version for the Genesis game system invaded my psyche and convinced me that all there was to the game was club selection, wind direction compensation and making sure your back swing falls within the red zone on the tv screen.
I knew I had crossed a line when I found myself discussing the hole yardage, bunker locations and how cutting the dogleg to the right will end you up in that massive bunker on the 14th hole of the Pebble Beach Golf links.
Funny thing was, I had never played anything but virtual golf on anything but Sega Genesis, but to this old timer who had played courses all over the golden state, my rubber spiked talk was seemingly as good as my walk.
Fast forward to my cube farm job in corporate So Cal and I find myself cubed up with a bevy of fellow fluorescent light wage earners who had an interest in golf. Didn't hurt that our offices were a mere block away from a challenging 9-hole public that we could meet at and finish in the wee morning hours before our 8:30 a.m. nine-to-five day.
A fortuitous dinner with my scratch golfer buddy found me taking a quick 20-minute living room lesson on club grip, stance, and swinging technique and for the next 5 years I enjoyed weekly 9-holers with my coworkers, an occasional full round on a free weekend, and my very own set of graphite shaft club hand-me-downs from my buds Dad that were worth more than I spent on the tranny rebuild for the Stingray I was restoring at the time.
Fast forward to my move out of the office and out to the prairie with the clubs, shoes, bag and boxes of Titleist sitting dormant going on 4 years now. All my days on the greens (okay, more likely the rough than the greens, but I'm waxing poetic here), those missed putts, soaring drives, Caddyshack quoting contests and 19th hole diet cokes are stashed away like so many broken tees at the bottom of my carry-bag.
Relegated to the past, and doomed to stay that way until something (or someone) gets me motivated to seek the long drive and short putt once again.
That's right, Santa chose to bypass our wishes this year and brought the girl's that holy grail (for the moment) of video gaming systems, a Nintendo Wii. For those that don't know about this entertaining and interactive wonder of modern time suckage, go outside, grab a kid and demand to know how he or she "Wii's."
After you make bail for assaulting a youth, get one of your own and point your Mii to the Wii Sports Golf game and prepare to either swear off the game in utter frustration or fall-in-love with an old friend all over again.
Once I par'd the beginning, intermediate, and advanced 3-hole courses, then par'd the combined 9-hole and achieved my "Professional" Mii status, I was able to channel Kenny Rogers and knew "when to walk away, and when to run."
But it sure got me tickling the memory keys in my brain and there are times now when I watch my 9-year old on her way to becoming a scratch Wii golfer that I can hear my club's whispered calls to me from their spot in the cobwebbed corner of the garage.
My small town of 4380 people actually has what some tell me to be, a decent 18-hole course, complete with pleasantly sarcastic Starter, gas powered carts, and fairways with a solid layer of permafrost in the winter months that will turn my 150 yard drives into 230 easy.
Will Wii lead me back to the links at some point in the near future?
But if by chance I do make it out there, I will have to change out the UCLA golf towel hanging on my bag for an OSU or OU one.