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I played in a celebrity golf tournament in Oklahoma City a while back. Now, I’ve been to a few celebrity team ropings, a couple celebrity stock dog trials, a million brandings and one celebrity rock pickin’ -- but this was my first celebrity golf tournament. Generous people paid a lot of money to play golf with well-known folks. The money was donated to help the blind.
I got in the golf cart with a feller named Phil. He asked me what my handicap was. I couldn’t think of anything real bad except an addiction to Miracle Whip, but I was told at one time that my nose would qualify me for handicapped parking. He asked me how well I played. I said not too well. I’m sure he thought I was bein’ modest, because after the first hole he turned to me and said, “You really don’t play golf too well, do ya?”
You play 18 holes to a game. I don’t know why they invented that number. You would have thought they’d play 10 or a dozen or an even 20, but for some reason, they chose 18. Probably the first golfer just played ‘til his arms were sore and decided that was enough.
When you get down to the nitty-gritty, there are two weapons you use in the game: the driver and the putter. First you line yourself up between two swimming-pool floats and “tee off.” This is done with the driver, which is a fly rod with the handle sawed off. Only my gun-bearer and guide knew which way to aim. He’d stand up beside me and point off to the horizon. Then tell me to hit the ball off in that general direction. It was always necessary to clear the spectators back 180 degrees from my line of fire. It was impossible to predict which direction my ball would go. By the third hole, we’d traded our golf cart in for an all-terrain vehicle and the rest of our foursome was driving an armored personnel carrier.
Once you make the green, it is recommended that one use a putter. The only comparison I can make to putting is that it’s like shooting the eight ball on a table the Navy has been landing planes on for three days. I think I could have dropped the ball from a hovering helicopter and had a better chance of hitting the hole. Finally, they let me putt with a snow shovel. They said it improved my game.
A nice feller lent me his golf bag and a pocket full of balls. I lost six of them. I was ashamed to tell him. I’m sure he thinks I stole ‘em. I lost so many balls that we eventually rented a backhoe for the sand traps and hired two scuba divers to join our caravan.
They haven’t asked me back. But maybe I’ll get invited to a celebrity bowling tournament. At least I won’t lose as many balls.
Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, former large-animal veterinarian and entertainer of the agricultural masses. Learn more at www.baxterblack.com.