Golf Course Hooligans
by John Norberg, humor columnist s

Last Sunday eight of us went on a wonderful Father's Day golf outing. I took one of my grandsons.

Me: "Do you know what we do on the first tee before hitting the ball?

Grandson: "Stretch and take practice swings?"

Me: "No. The first tee is for excuses. Before you hit the ball you have to establish all the excuses you have for not playing well."

In our group of eight in less than 60 seconds there were two bad backs, a sore arm, a migraine, an ingrown fingernail and two guys claiming they hadn't been on a golf course since the mid-1970s.

Starter: "Who's up first?"

No one wants to be first on the Excuse Tee. The hope is that someone else will go first and hit a really lousy shot that will make your lousy shot look not nearly as bad.

Me: (After hitting my shot) "I'd like to take a Hooligan.

Friend: "You mean a Mulligan. You want to hit your drive again?"

Me: "No, I want a Hooligan. I want to skip my drive and approach shots and just drop my ball on the green."

Starter: It's wet so keep the golf carts off the fairways."

Why would I drive a cart on the fairway to find my ball? When I golf I hit ponds and tall grass. I hit trees, birds, food carts, my feet and fellow golfers ? sometimes even when they're standing behind me.

But I never actually hit a fairway.

For years I've been slicing which causes my shots to go way off to the right. I studied the problem, took lessons, practiced and worked hard. No more slice to the right.

Now my shots hook to the left.

My score didn't improve. But now I am seeing a different side of the golf course.

Friend: "Keep your head down when you swing. Don't pick your head up to watch your shots."

Me: "Will keeping my head down make my ball go father and straighter?"

Friend: "No. But it'll save you the embarrassment of seeing your awful shots."

I can't wait to play again. I might be a terrible at this game.

But I sure love spending the day on a golf course with my grandson and friends.

And learning to keep my head down also comes in handy when my wife is looking for help around the house.

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