The St. Andrews Royal & Ancient Golf Club didn't get going till 1755 but St. Andrews was the first club to publish an official rule book. This largely due to the fist-fighting that often broke out before, during, and always after matches. Settling scores over a Guinness in the 19th hole pub became tradition.
Over the centuries golf has maintained a special sense of formality, frustration, foiling, frenzy and masochism. The game is also known for crazy clothing and bizarre behavior.
Golf is not a spectator sport, one must play the game to get the joke. To non players sauntering around the course looks ridiculous, boring, blatant, even non-athletic.
After a few years of climbing golf's endless incline of impossibility there are two images that slowly emerge in the consciousness. First, even if you are Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods the game will beat your ass regardless of talent like a $2 hooker in a Navy leave port. The second is pursuing a perfect swing which exposes the worst personality defects in a hole and a half of errant play.
What kind of player are you? Find yourself in the list below (and if you deny finding yourself you are as dishonest as you are a high-handicapper). For each pronoun 'guy', ladies simply substitute 'girl' and your off..
1. Unsolicited Adviser - knows-it-all but master-of-none.
2. On The Green In 10 - one hour hole consumed looking for sliced balls, shanked short shots.
3. Cell Phone Punk - your golf round belongs to him and his personal business.
4. Cart Girl Chaser - they hire leggy girls to deliver drinks so the lechers can lech while wife is away?
5. Gear Horse - this guy has a garage stuffed with clubs dating back to the 60s, and clothes to match.
6. Scoreboard - something about counting ball strikes that eludes this guy.
7. Red Neck - this guy buys three beers each time the cart comes around 'just in case'.
8. Stogie Stan - fat guy turns fresh air golf course into a smoke filled room.
9. Sandbagger - plays 10 strokes below his handicap, basically a cheater in chinos.
10. Solo Swinger - no time for social silliness after all HIS ball is the center of attention.
11. Ball Hoarder - shagging balls out of bounds and in the ponds more than playing
12. Temper Tommy - broken clubs and damaged fairways evidence to be used in the murder trial later.
13. Swings Out Of Shoes - topped, sliced, sculled, pulled terms invented to describe this guys game..
14. B Golfer - hits a second ball - notice the second ball is ALWAYS best?
15. Plumb Bobber - micro manager must measure meticulously might miss micro breaks...
16. Pretend Pro - this guy has yardage book, laser pin finder, wind sensors, and pull hooks a putter
17. Foot Wedger - the classic cheat. 'play as it lays' is a suggestion to this guy, not a rule
18. Hyper Henry - every shot, every hole, a fist pump and a feast day. over joyed and shoots over 100.
19. War Stories - remembers playing with Walter Haggin, or was that played at Haggin Oaks?
20. Loud Talker - oblivious to the back-swings of others.
The list is not meant to be comprehensive, but does expose the absurdity of playing a game that is at once costly, incalculable and cantankerous. So when's the next tee time?