Where’s Happy Gilmore when needed?

Published 9:55 am Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In an attempt to be so precise, golf announcers often trip over their tongues.

Despite being busy at work on Sunday afternoon, I had the TV on in my office, tuned in to The Masters. My desk is positioned so that my back is to the TV…thusly it watches me most of the time instead of me watching it.

However, I did jerk my head around a few times, not to catch a fantastic shot by one of the players in contention down the stretch, but rather in pure disbelief on what I just heard uttered from the mouth of one of those golf “talking heads.”

During one tense moment when the famed, and ashamed, Tiger Woods was standing over a short eagle putt to take the lead, the announcer said, “The silence here is deafening.”

I understand the context in which that reference was made, but the noun/verb components are exact opposites.

In another statement over Woods and his effort to finally return to his previous measure of glory, the announcer stated, “He wants to win so bad that you can see it oozing from his pores.”

That’s a sight I don’t want to see, from Tiger Woods or from anyone!

Golf, at least the professional brand, is so stiff-collared. Even the music that CBS uses for the lead-ins and breaks at The Masters sounds like someone is at a funeral.

Where’s the life! Where are the chills and thrills. Why can’t we have pro golfers like Happy Gilmore?

Everything has to be so quiet, so revered. I’m surprised that the folks down at Augusta National don’t consider trapping all the wild birds for the week in an effort to eliminate all the chirping.

What about the airplanes flying overhead…aren’t they a distraction?

Even the lingo used to describe the game of golf is weird.

For instance, golfers always talk about their “bad lies.” My mama taught me at a very early age that lying is bad. But then again, sometimes a golfer plays a ball off what he or she (a she anywhere but Augusta National) refers to as a good lie. What exactly is a good lie – one that doesn’t come back to haunt you?

Then there’s an unplayable lie, playable lie, a downhill lie, an uphill lie and a preferred lie. All this lying makes me jittery.

Did you know that a golfer will “address” their ball? If that means mailing one to a friend, don’t count on the US Postal Service to get it to the right address.

A golf hole is called a cup. The top rim of the cup is called the lip. In that cup is placed a pin, the same thing as a flagstick. That’s way too many descriptions for a simple hole in the ground.

When a golfer whacks out a piece of the course while striking the ball, it’s called a divot. A divot is also a hole, but not the same as a cup.

The “green” refers to the putting surface. If that’s the case, then why does a greens keeper take care of the entire course?

To “hook” a ball means it veers left, while a “slice” refers to the ball heading sharply to the right. I guess left shots and right shots were just too dull for a golfer’s lingo.

A golfer carries a bagful of clubs. There are irons, woods and wedges to use in order to get the ball on the green. Yet when they arrive on the putting surface, they use only one club – a putter. For simplicity, why aren’t all the other clubs just called, “whackers?”

Maybe the reason I don’t play golf is that I don’t understand all the lingo. In all honesty, I did play the game a while back. I teed it up, whacked it, found it in the woods, stuck it in my pocket and went home.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207. If you contact him and he doesn’t immediately answer, it’s not because he’s out playing golf!

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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