Here is some advice: never go on a golf date.
It seemed harmless enough. I play golf. She plays golf. Let’s play golf, I suggested. We could get to know each other and, if love didn’t strike, enjoy a day on the links. Right?
My first drive hooked left into the long stuff. I eased the cart up to the ladies tee for her drive. She took a few practice swings. This is when I heard the first alert of my MALE EGO DEFENSE WARNING SYSTEM: she had the best tempo of any golfer I’ve ever seen. I should have driven back to the car right then, complaining of dizziness and old war wounds.
Her pre-shot routine is careful and un-hurried. Then she takes the club back low and slow, ending with the club well behind her head. No way she can get back to the ball from there, you think. You’d think wrong. She hesitates at the top for what seems like hours. Then she eases the club back down and inside, gently brushing the top of the grass into a perfectly balanced finish. You could set the atomic clock to her swing.
The ball sailed down the middle, curling to the left at the end in a slight draw. When I hit a golf ball, it jumps off the clubface in a panic, like someone jumping out of a burning building. For her, the ball leaps gracefully from the club, like a figure skater throwing his partner in the air in a tight spin for Olympic Gold.
We found my ball in the rough. I hit a respectable shot to the back of the green. We drove over to her ball in the fairway. Again, she took her time. She didn’t seem to know that golf is an anxiety producing sport. Golf can rip your heart out! No one ever told her. She was as cool and calm as the beer in the cooler. She surveyed her shot and took another beautiful practice swing. Easy. Balanced. Perfect. I hate her.
Her 7-iron carved a perfect divot as the ball headed for the green. Her golf balls were her friends. My golf balls hate me. They do mean things to me because I hit them as hard as I can. She was nice to them, patting them on the butt with her perfect tempo. In return, they were nice to her.
The ball was tracking right at the pin. No fade. No draw. RIGHT AT THE PIN. WARNING! WARNING! I heard my MALE EGO DEFENSE WARNING SYSTEM go haywire.
I remember watching news reports of the Gulf War. They put video cameras right in the nose of some missiles. Norman Schwartzkoff would stand next to a TV while we all watched from the view of the missile as it locked on a building. Seconds later you could see right in the window of the building before it blew up. If there was a camera in her ball, you would have seen the camera looking down at the green as the ball hit the top of its arc. The cross-hairs would be trained spot-on the flag. Then the green would rush into view, filling the screen as the ball slammed back to earth.
It bounced once, hit the flag, and dropped next to the hole. Easy birdie.
I’m about to get spanked.