Brown's Point Life

"To many people January and February are fairly dead months, but to a dedicated golfer those months hold the promise of some great new games just around the corner. Golf, although it is carefully regulated by unbreakable rules, nevertheless allows for personality traits to evidence themselves clearly.One group of three ladies, all chatterers, mistakenly hit each other's balls when they played, so they decided they would use different colored balls to eliminate the possibility of getting them mixed up. One played a pink ball, one played a white one, and one played yellow, but on the first green they still all managed to hit the wrong balls. Their score-keeping may be a little ragged but they have great visits.I commented once to a knowledgeable golfer that some amateurs were playing at the pro level. He said there is a world of difference between playing good amateur golf and playing on the tour, because of the mental game. Some people are simply unable to withstand the stress and getting rattled during a golf game is the kiss of death.Nevertheless, my friend Doris does her best when she is under pressure. I played with her once in a tournament and she was having a horrible game. On the last hole, the rules of the day made it a requirement to use her driver. The pressure was on. She calmly stepped up to the tee and socked that ball a mile.Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. She is the same lady I played with last fall in a foursome. On about the 12th hole, one of the women in the other cart stepped out and silently staggered toward us. Her eyes bugged out and she had one hand on her throat. Doris stepped behind her, performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved a life on the spot. At another tournament, she and I lagged behind but she coolly made a 25-foot putt to save our score.Since in golf each player keeps track of his own strokes there is good opportunity to cheat. One man we heard of would run his handicap up so that, when he played competitively, he could subtract a high handicap from his score and win the tournament. His club caught on and changed the rules so only tournament results could be used in figuring a handicap and his ruse was foiled.The desire to lower one's handicap and improve one's game seems to know no limits with some people. I played with such a lady last fall. At the end of a game, a score is put into a computer and handicaps are derived from averaging the accumulated scores. This lady said she had played the day before we met. She had hit a ball into the street and couldn't find it, so she had to take two penalty strokes for a lost ball.On the way to the golf course the morning we played together, she accidentally spotted her ball and she seriously asked, since she had now found her ball, if she could remove the penalty strokes off her yesterday's score. A question like this shows how intense the game can be to some people, how lovable golfers are for that very reason, and why golf provides some great laughs. Carol Hazelrigg is a Browns Point resident. "

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