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Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Golfing Spectrum: Ko to Jiminez

At my home course the grass has gone dormant, the ground is hard, the greens are fast, and the season of winter golf has begun.  Today the skies are overcast and there's a fine, chilly drizzle that's not so much falling from the sky as it is hanging in the air.  There's not much in my world today to recommend a round of golf, but it's been an absolutely terrific golf day!  Lydia Ko and Miguel Angel Jiminez both won tournaments this weekend.

And that's significant because . . .?


Because, as my friend Betty Bates has declared, Golf is for everyone!  

Lydia Ko and Miguel Angel Jiminez are walking, talking, winning testimony to the veracity of Betty Bates's declaration.

Golf is for teenagers whose lean, limber bodies are capable of executing a follow-through that is well beyond the capacity of my septuagenarian spinal column.  Just watch Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson and Charley Hull swing their sticks!  They leave me breathless every time they tee it up.

Golf is for people in their middle age who are carrying around more weight than's healthy.  Laura Davies finished up high on the Dubai Ladies Masters leaderboard this weekend.  I watch Davies and Julie Inkster make their way around the course, their short games intact, their competitive spirits unquenchable, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have a decade or more of golf still in me.  They're a comfort and an inspiration.

Golf is for cigar-smoking, fast-car-driving, womanizing 50-year olds. Miguel Angel Jiminez eschews warm-up routines and practice greens and has a winning game in his bag.  I conjure up an image of Jiminez every time I'm running late for the Star Fort Ladies Golf Association tee time and know I'm going to go from the car to the cart to the first tee without pausing at the range for enough swings to get my body oiled up and working.  I like fast cars and hate exercise too.  Miguel Angel Jiminez is my soul brother.

Golf is for people who love playing golf.  To be sure, I love golf more when I take home a few dollars from the Star Fort Ladies Golf Association pool than when I don't, and I love golf more when my putter's hot than when it's not, and I love golf more when I chip with pin-point accuracy and 1-putt than when I pull my chicken wings trick and end up lying 3 in the bunker and then 3-putt because my anger gets the best of me for the moment.

But the bottom line is that I would rather play golf than clean my bathrooms, even when it's winter, the grass is dormant, the weather's cold and drizzly, and my putter's on strike.   When the temperature dips and the pond that intersects the 8th fairway freezes, spreading even a thin sheet of ice on the water, my ball skitters across the pond like a hockey puck and slides up the fairway.  Even while I'm fighting frostbite, I'm still loving golf!