But let's face it, all the other four-letter words have been taken.
I love to play golf. That being said, golf, as is typical for all-too-many amateurs, doesn't love me back. It could be worse; after all, I'm in that rarefied air of the 5% of people who have actually broken 100 in their lifetime. On a good year, I'd be able to play 10-15 times per year, a rate not conducive to a low handicap ('What's your handicap, Dave?" - "My swing"), but even at that rate I was able to consistently break the dreaded century mark in scoring.
So I can feel good about myself for that meager accomplishment.
However, over the past few years, my playing time has been severely limited due to income and some (now resolved) health issues, to the point where I haven't played a round of golf in over a year. I haven't even picked up a club in that timeframe, let alone hit the driving range to keep my somewhat limited skills sharp. But Monday beckons, and a round at the Green Meadow CC's "Jungle" course is on tap with some friends from my former life at Xerox.
Hence, the trip to the dreaded driving range to see if I still possess a swing that will keep me from being mercilessly ragged on by about 9:45 or so (it doesn't take long for devastating comments to work their way out of the mouths of retired Xerox salespeople, let me tell you). And the results were - not so bad.
For those of you too bored with other things in life, my golf history is a bit different than most. I started playing as an enlisted airman in the USAF at Andrews AFB in Maryland, back in 1979. My boss, a Master Sergeant by the name of Lou Denitto, loved to play, and was pretty good at it. He also wanted to play more often than a typical person might want to play, and since he was the boss, he pretty much got his way. So I enlisted yet again, this time into the world of golf. With a severely used set of clubs bought at a yard sale for $20 bucks (which included a wooden-handled putter, no less), Lou and I would prowl one of two courses on that base every other week.
I sucked at it. Big time.
For the next 20 years, no matter how many lessons, or how many hours and buckets of practice balls at the practice range, I never came close to breaking the vaunted century mark in scoring. But as is typical of the game of golf, there was always this one really good shot I made, usually near the end of the round (better to remember it), that convinced me that I could play this game at a less-than-embarrassing level someday. Finally, a wrist injury caused me to have X-rays done, and my doctor informed me that I had "very unusual wrists". After telling him that was the worst pick-up line had ever heard, he showed me that the bones in my wrists are formed such that my wrists cannot "cock", i.e. break past horizontal, thus robbing me of a critical move that would allow me to put more power and control into my swing.
Thus, a problem was identified, but no solution was yet found.
After trying for years to find a way to make this game work, I found a new way to swing called "Natural Golf". It simplified to complexity of the golf swing, and removed the things I couldn't do and replaced them with things I could do. I'd never be a power hitter (200 yards was my maximum for a drive on a good day), but I had the repeatable swing I had always craved. After 6 months, I was breaking 100 every time I played! I'm a 5%-er!
Which brings us back to today and my first time reacquainting myself with my clubs and my swing in over a year. The repeatable swing is still there, but some much-needed power has been lost. Probably due to age, lost weight (good for my health, bad for distance with a swing such as mine), and just not hitting the club face as cleanly as I used to do. Still and all, 150-175 yards and straight is the best I can hope for, given the circumstances. If it plays out that way on Monday, it shouldn't be the embarrassing disaster that it might have been years ago.
But this is golf, a sport which should have been named some other four-letter word. We'll let you know how it goes later on next week.
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.