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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

I am not Tiger Woods. I will never be Tiger Woods.

Posted Tuesday, June 17, 2008, at 10:41 AM

This is my column as it will appear in this week's NSC. Normally I don't post these, but it was a lot of fun so I thought I would share it.

Last Thursday morning during my abbreviated vacation, I woke around 6 a.m. and decided that would be the best time for me to squeeze in a few holes of golf while I was away.

I strolled down the road following billboards and signs to the Warrenton Golf Club. It was a nice course and I didn't play too bad, at least not against my own standards and abilities.

As I was heading back to my father's house I started thinking about the first time I ever played.

I guess I should point out that I'm a relative 'newbie' at golf. I've played for about six years, and don't play as regularly as I would like to. Every year I talk about how that's going to change, but for some reason it never does.

Before my first round ever, though, I remember thinking about what a stupid sport golf was and how only old men played golf. I always wondered how people could run around chasing that little ball all day, let alone the idea of watching someone else do it on television.

That day I found out why, but to this day I still can't explain it.

I went out that day in the blistering sun with a couple of good friends and learned what it's like to enjoy something and still be absolutely pathetic.

I think I shot around 130 that day, give or take a few dozen swings. After I got home that day was when I came to realize a few of the valuable lessons golf has to offer.

Here are some of the rules I've learned over the years:

1. I am not Tiger Woods. I will never be Tiger Woods. To anyone planning their first trip, just beginning repeating that two line mantra now and save yourself some misery and disappointment.

2. When playing golf, you apparently use muscles in your body that have absolutely no other function whatsoever. That first game and typically the first round each year leave me feeling a lot like I have been run over by a truck. On a side note, typically more golf seems to help. Infrequent golf results in that pain every time you play so my goal is to play at least once a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less but it's a good goal.

3. Missing the ball can be far more painful than making contact, both for you and for those within 20 feet. When you miss the ball, the human body takes a crazy flailing action that transforms you into a Jerry Lewis style dancer.

4. Fore! This is what you yell after you've actually made contact and learned the hard way what this word means. I had a rather scary gentleman explain it to me shortly after my ball landed in his golf cart (while he was driving it).

5. Trees are your enemy. Being of the skill level that I am, much of my time is spent golfing around trees, behind trees, beside trees and even on a fallen tree once. The power with which a golf ball leaves the tree and travels toward your body is the equivalent of a 90 mph fastball. While golf is not a contact sport, I have left the course bruised following an altercation with an oak tree.

6. If golfing with a friend who is driving his cart behind you, always drive over his ball. It is considered a friendly greeting by many.

7. Make sure the ball you run over does in fact belong to your friend. I won't elaborate on this one or how I learned it.

8. Never reach out too far when trying to retrieve your ball from the water. This is especially important if you can not swim or find yourself easily humiliated.

9. If an animal retrieves your ball before you reach it (i.e. bear, large dog, alligator or Smurf), the ball now belongs to them. However, if you find yourself not emotionally attached to your fingers, hands or other appendages, feel free to give it a whirl. Quite often your friends will appreciate the entertainment during the excursion.

10. For more information and valuable lessons, rent 'Dorf on Golf.'

Now, it's back to listening to the sudden-death playoff round of the U.S. Open on AM radio. See, I even learned to watch other people playing golf. In the words of Beaver Cleaver, 'Who'd have thunk it?'

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

This is a good one, Corey! I don't even like golf, and I liked the story! Now I almost understand why so many people like golf.

...I liked "Caddie Shack.." Did you see any gophers? (gophers golfing?? golphing gophers? Say that five times fast!)

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jun 17, 2008, at 4:31 PM

See...I love most sports. I like to play and watch. Golf is not on the list of those said sports. Those player's backs turn in ways mine would never agree with. That's just not my cup of tea.

Though I must admit I was excited to be watching Tiger on Sunday. He tied Mediate on his first father's day ever. Wonderful. Then he took it the next day. I guess I just love watching Tiger. He is a wonder...

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Jun 18, 2008, at 12:21 AM

So true, dolphin. We've all watched Tiger grow up in the public eye, and he's just so wholesome and adorable! Did you see his little girl reaching for him? Just precious! What a role model!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jun 18, 2008, at 7:43 AM

Hey, I gave my 2-year-old grandson a toy golf set for his birthday yesterday, and his dad and mom were coaching him out in the back yard! D'ya think there's a chance that he could become another Tiger Woods???? I wonder how early Tiger started??

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jun 18, 2008, at 9:06 PM

How come the golf announcers whisper? They are nowhere near the person putting or driving or whatever they do.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Jun 18, 2008, at 10:27 PM

GL, they said the other day on tv that Tiger started before/around 2. So I guess there's a chance!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Thu, Jun 19, 2008, at 12:24 AM

Have you noticed that even some of the small high schools have golf teams now?

I.B., I think the whispering is all part of the "Golf Mystique." In other words, "It's a tradition!"

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jun 19, 2008, at 6:17 AM

I think the Goat and the Dolphin are right on here. Remember, golf is a sport for ANYone, no matter the skill. You can both give it a try and might find you enjoy the peace and beauty of the courses. BUT beware, Corey is right on about the difficulty. And don't tell you Grandkid this, because anything is possible, but the odds of him being the next TW is tiny........may not be another Tiger. Maybe he could be the next Tom Watson, that wouldn't be too bad.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 8:19 AM

Only thing is - Golf seems to be a rich man's sport, so that limits the peons from participating, doesn't it? Mmm..no peon participation...That has a catchy sound to it. Haven't I seen a sign...?

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 3:53 PM
Corey Noles' response:
Actually, I'm so broke it took a dictionary for me to even spell rich just now. lol

Golf and soccer I do not get and they just don't seem like sports that a guy like me would be interested in. I tried them both a couple times and I just didn't like them. I tried bowling for a while in my life and seemed to enjoy that until it got to the point where you had a hard time getting a lane because of all the league play. Haven't done that in years either. Baseball, football and basketball will have to be enough sport for me.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 10:01 PM

Goat.....and IB......$2.00 buys a bucket of balls on a driving range.....ton of fun hitting them and trying to figure this crap out. Are you a Goat or a peon? Goat for it.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 10:35 PM

I.B., the announcers do whisper for a reason. The TV networks usually have 2 or 3 course announcers that follow certain players on the course. So they are actually right by the fairways and greens when these guys are playing. That is why they have to talk softly.

-- Posted by BonScott on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 12:49 AM

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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