I'm standing there, leaning on my driver, waiting for the foursome in front of us to show some signs of life. This one guy has spent so much time deciding what club he is going to miss, I'm on the verge of dozing off, so I try to take my mind off the funereal pace and think of something good, like, the things I like about golf:
-- Old guys who can't hit it out of their shadow but haven't missed a fairway since Truman and can putt your wallet into bankruptcy.
-- The chance that Tiger will find his groove again. If you don't like him, I understand, but when he's the real Tiger, he makes history for you, replete with thunder and lightning and rainbows and angelic choirs and chills running up your spine.
-- Yani Tseng, a little giant who smiles a lot while she's kicking fanny and making it look easy.
-- The prospect of watching Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler writing their names across the sky over the years to come, hopefully with Rickie losing the Sunday orange. Other days, I like his stuff. He doesn't have to go to beige or camouflage or paint store explosions like John Daly wears, maybe white with orange piping. Just saying.
-- Club pros, who work while we play then have to listen to us tell them about it.
-- Arnold Palmer, who, I have no doubt, has signed more autographs than anyone else in history – golfers, movie stars, TV evangelists, Pete Rose, anybody. And you can read what he writes, unlike most autographs I have seen in recent years, scribbles that basically say "I don't have time for this."
-- Sound advice, like that of oldtime great Harry Vardon, who said, "Don';t play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty.”
(Hold on. I think there was some movement in the foursome ahead of us. No, sorry, it was just a shadow creeping across a couple of fairways.) Anyway, back to things to like about golf:
-- Phil Mickelson, who puts a smile on golf's face.
-- TV reruns of "Tin Cup."
-- Memories that last a lifetime, someone doing something out there that awes us. Or maybe it's just us doing something out there that makes ourheart race a little and our step a bit lighter.
-- Guys who play the tour but almost never make a ripple. They are the equivalent of opening acts for Springsteen. They don't sell enough tickets to pay for their lockerroom breakfast buffet but the stars need someone to beat and in the meantime, the lesser lights are living a pretty good life while they cling to their tired dream.
(Sorry, gotta go. We're walking in. The sun's down and the guys ahead are walking like they're going to the electric chair and we have a couple of guys in our group who get a little belligerent if they aren't comfortably seated at the bar when happy hour arrives. Ah, well, I wasn't shooting anything to put up a monument about anyway and I'm a little thirsty myself.)