Sunshine Swell - Pebble Beach #18 CREDIT: John and Jeannine Henebry

Six Incontrovertible Laws of Golf


The universe usually makes sense when you think about it; gravity, the rotation of the earth, math, science, vibrations that produce beautiful music. The game of golf seems to fall into some kind of alternate universe where logic has no part. Here are but six golf laws that will make us look forward to the office.

  1. There was a time in this fair land when cart paths did not exist. I did prefer those days when they were not such a blight on the landscape but what’s done is done. They serve their purpose which I suppose is to make the riders’ ride smoother. But they have a bad side effect. Those dirty little paths usually turn a poor drive into a nightmare. The average fairway is thirty yards wide. A cart path is six feet wide. The chance of the ball hitting the path is six percent. But this is golf, so you KNOW there’s a ninety percent chance that poor drive will hit that tiny piece of pavement bouncing it not once, not thrice, but several times until it takes the expected right hand turn into the woods. All of your beckoning of “please don’t hit the path please don’t hit the path” is for not. In a very rare case if you’ve been a good person and say please in a most sincere voice you will get a nice forward bounce off  the cart path back into the fairway, and bragging rights to a 300 yard drive. Unfortunately that five dollar ProV will be scuffed beyond recognition. Everything has a price.
  1. This game of golf is stupid. Stupid because it’s so easy. We know it’s true and here is the proof. What happens immediately following a really bad shot? The huge slice off the tee that flies two fairways over, the easy approach from eighty yards that duck hooks into the pond next to the green, the eight foot putt for bird that inexplicably rolls twenty feet past? What happens when on occasion following one of those disastrous shots we throw another ball down and ‘just for fun’ hit another shot? Easy answer: it’s perfect. The putt is holed no problem, the eighty yarder stops on a dime next to the hole and that for-fun drive is a beauty right down the middle. What an easy game! Our make up shots are not just better, they would make Rory proud. Maybe the golf gods are trying to reveal a secret here and we’re just too dumb to figure it out.
  1. Ah the marshal. Nice fellows owning hearty smiles who enjoy having mindless conversations with you. “How’s she going, playing well, having a good day” (No I don’t want to talk to you at the moment, did you see where my shank went?) The poor marshals do try although what it is they do still remains one of the mysteries of the galaxy. One thing we do know for sure is when the round gets to be painfully slow and you are dying to find the culprit and have him arrested, there will be no marshal within sight of the next county. (Ball hunting presumably.) The obvious flip of the coin is that if there are no groups behind you for miles, heck if you are the only group on the course that day, Wyatt Earp will come out of nowhere like a cop on the 407 to scold you for being behind. Following his lecture he will abruptly park his cart on the next fairway, arms folded with his best Buford Pusser impression and stare you down. “Ah, Mr. Pusser, can you ask the group in front of us to let us play through? Sheriff, where you going? Come back here, it’s so slow…”
  1. Golf seems to be the only endeavour where there is no such thing as a perfect day. At work we have perfect days, your customer phones you for a big order on the same day you get three new customers and your boss says yes to your raise request. There are days when your spouse cooks your favourite meal, lets you watch the hockey game in peace and tells you its OK if you golf all weekend. However golf never gives us those days. One day every drive is perfect but you can’t sink a putt, the next day putting and chipping are perfect but every drive is out of bounds. You get the gist. This game is out to get us. (If you’re a scratch golfer, please turn the page).
  1. Eighteen holes of golf takes you on a trek through winding hilly terrain that measures over five miles. It’s a four hours plus journey and it takes its toll on you whether you walk or ride. Hence, one smart golf course owner invented the beverage cart, which begat the cart girl. The odds suggest you should see the cart girl every few holes. But golf laws work in their mysterious ways. You WILL see the cart girl ONLY on holes number one, two, nine, ten and usually right after you’ve hit your final approach shot on eighteen. The golf laws say the cart girl will only show up when you least need her. Naturally, the hotter and thirstier you are, the more this law takes affect.
  1. You’ve just hit your best and perhaps only good drive of the day, striped it centre cut right on the sweet spot. Or you have just hit your best and only good approach shot of the round that sticks to three feet, tap in birdie. Maybe it’s the forty foot putt that breaks five feet downhill and finds the bottom of the cup. Beauty! Naturally those great shots always occur on the last hole, number eighteen. Just when you have given your last breath, surrendered, swearing that you have had enough of this infernal game. Not anymore, not after that PGA Tour like shot. Visions and dreams of greatness, the secret you’ve been searching for has finally revealed itself. First thing you need to do before soaking up a cold one on the nineteenth is book your next round. You can’t wait until next week. Yes, ye old golf gods do have a way of sucking us in week after week after week.

Even if all of golf’s laws continually work against us.

Till next week. FORE!

David Goodman
David is an overgrown kid still who still believes he can play a decent game of squash and hockey when he’s not on the course or range working on his game. Long gone from the medical industry, David loves studying the social/psychological implications golf has on the lives of its participants.

2 thoughts on “Six Incontrovertible Laws of Golf

  1. I’ve discovered a corollary to the laws which states ” regardless of the prowess or performance a Golfer’s heart and mind are uniquely tuned to focus solely on that one shot out of 80 to 90 strokes which ended up exactly where the golfer was looking – thus creating the need and desire to return to the game in the coming week” enjoyed this Article – Regards and Thanks

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