“Fore” shouldn’t be the hours it takes to play a hole!

Photo: that’s me on the right with Tiger Woods. No, it’s not Photoshopped!

Golf used to be fun. In Scotland I played at the Troon public courses, which sit right next to Royal Troon, the famous British Open course. Once upon a time before the plague of capitalism, my friends and I paid five pounds sterling and, miraculously, we became members at 14 courses in that area. Just like that.

We used to tee off at 9 a.m and be done by 11:30, just in time for lunch—a few Mars bars, preferably deep-fried (ah, the wonders of a teenage metabolism) and hours of completely unjustified boasting about our games. It was magic. There was never a wait. No one wanted to be Jack Nicklaus (though the temptation was always there); we just got on with it. We would get to the ball, swing, and then hit it. On the greens, we spared nothing other than the briefest of looks at the line from ball to cup. A quick, light pendulum of the putter and CLICK!—the ball was hot towards that tiny, waiting hole.

Pretense and ambition? None. Ego was kept to a bare minimum, and the low handicap golfers were treated the same as everyone else. Fast was the only way to play. We harbored no delusions of grandeur, no need to prove our manhood by swinging something other than our manhoods. I played in many places around the world at that time and it was always the same.

My, how things have changed. And what a money-obsessed, egotistical prick horror show golf has become. Where I live in California, a round now costs $100—and that’s cheap! Joining a club can cost anything from $40,000 to $300,000, depending where you look. Oh, did I mention that you’ll be charged a minimum of $600 a month just for the ongoing privilege of losing your balls on the course you’ve just bought a piece of. It’s ridiculous!

It gets better (he said as he continued his rant). If you can afford the astronomical membership fee or you just decide to pay the $100 at the course of your choice, you will likely be surrounded by Tiger Woods wannabes, each with his (or her) quiver of ball-striking tools with design pedigrees that would make NASA jealous. And each one of these mullets has to take forever to break down and analyze each shot—never mind that even the most expensive club and all the money in the world can stop a crap player from slicing his tee shot into the eucalyptus trees or the windshield of a Lexus.

This is compounded by the fact that each golfer has to line up his put three to four times like he’s Phil Mickelson, before stroking that wee white ball on a path that will take it nowhere near the hole. Between shots, each golfer must (by club rules) spend 20 minutes deciding what beer he wants to drink from a golf cart laden with goodies, driven by a blond college girl with big tits. The tits get the same amount of gazing time as the four-foot putt; they should get FAR more.

The Asians have taken over the game, too. They outnumber Westerners ten to one on the course I play. Each one is limited by height and a disturbing lack of peripheral vision, making the entire course a danger zone due to terrible driving—of golf carts, not balls. Most Asian players rarely hit the ball hard enough to make it a hazard. Most have a repetitious practice swing pattern that looks brilliant…until they actually hit the ball! It travels about 40 feet, often backwards.

Because of all this, it can take 4-6 hours to play one round of golf. Wars have been won and hearts transplanted in less time. In wonderful Troon, in June, Howard Mating and I used to play three rounds a day. It stayed light until after 10 PM. Now, I am lucky if I can play three rounds there in a year! Beyond the boredom, there’s the annoyance that these golfers, armed with wonderful equipment and space-age technology, cannot complete a damned round of golf in less than five hours.

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