So it appears that it’s golf season again in good old weather-challenged Central Alberta. Yes, once again another summer of five good days for golf has finally arrived. Unfortunately, one nice day for golf has already been used up. I think it was a week ago Tuesday.
I did in fact lug my whack-damn sticks out of 11.5 months of winter storage in the basement recently just to check things over in case a golf day miraculously appeared. I dragged my golf bag up the stairs. That thing is the size and weight of a dead horse. Once I finally made it to the family room, I wiped my sweaty brow, rested for a spell, applied eucalyptus menthol on the resulting sore muscles, duly hydrated with two glasses of cold water and steeled myself to do the annual golf bag inventory.
Thing is, a golf bag the size and weight of a dead horse has about 17 pockets, zippers, compartments and attachments – and that’s not even counting where you shove your 14 or 15 clubs. I began at the top and worked my way down.
Here is a partial list of this year’s golf bag inventory left over from last year: 27 golf balls distributed in three different pockets, two handfuls of various sized golf tees, two leather golf gloves (one with a hole in the thumb), a pile of ball markers with logos on them, four green repair thingies I don’t know how to use properly, three tubes of 60 SPF sunscreen, one family sized can of mosquito spray, two bottles of water (one empty, one full), one wind shirt that I won in a draw at a golf tournament and have never worn, one short sleeved sweater, one long sleeved sweater, rain coat, rain pants, a golf umbrella, one wide brim hat, one ball cap, clip-on sunglasses in a case (broken) (the sunglasses, not the case), a calculator with a dead battery (to keep track of my double and triple digit score), a cheap plastic rangefinder that’s suppose to give you the yardage to the hole when you look through it but doesn’t (not that it matters), five quarters and a loonie, a wrench-like tool to tighten and/or replace the plastic “spikes” on my golf shoes, my golf shoes, the DVD “Golf My Way” by Jack Nicklaus (kidding, it’s actually the book), 15 of those miniature golf pencils you get from the pro shop, and the one weathered scorecard from 2012 that was actually worth keeping.
Whew! And I hadn’t even inspected my clubs yet. So seeing that they seem to be an important part of the game, I began pulling them out of the bag.
Big breath… Two drivers (one prized Taylor Made inherited from my champion golfer father-in-law), a three wood that’s actually metal, an old three wood that’s actually wood, two hybrids (a five wood and a seven wood that are actually irons), six irons from 4 iron to 9 iron, a pitching wedge, a sand wedge, a gap wedge, and three different putters. (Don’t even ask about the putters.) Oh, and one of those telescoping pole thingies for retrieving your ball from water hazards. This might be the item in my bag that gets used most often.
Thing is, I had duly “cleaned out” my golf bag last fall before putting away, I’m thinking as I notice a hidden pocket at the bottom of the bag. I reach in and plunge my fingers into… horrible, slimy mush. It’s an eight-month-old apple. Rotted and stinking to high heaven. Just like my golf game.
Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. You can send him column ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org