Top 10 ways to avoid becoming a golf widow

October 29, 2010

As another golf season draws to a close, and I welcome my man back from the front, I feel it is my duty to give other would-be-golf-widows some tips in order to avoid a lifetime of long lonely summers…

1. Buy snowpants. You will be wearing them on the golf course if you live in Canada (or get snowed in – like we did! – in Myrtle Beach).

2. Remember, nothing says true romance like lugging two sets of clubs around on public transportation – as long as it’s not on a first date!

3. Educate yourself on golf swing fundamentals, and take some lessons so you can learn to filter your man’s advice – because, like any flood, you can’t stop the deluge, only channel it away from your foundations.

4. Don’t count your score – at least not for the first 5 years of marriage, oops…I mean golf.

5. If you and your man play right handed, take the outdoor driving range mat to his right. A good Waggle can be a great asset!

6. To keep your man at home, build an indoor driving range (cut a hole in a cheap 2’/3’ entrance mat and insert a rubber tee). Note: chipped door frames and broken double-paned kitchen windows are a small price to pay (I would know).

7. When looking for your first home, always rent or buy based on ceiling height. And remember, full length mirrors aren’t just for ballet studios – they also make great swing practice aids.

8. Astroturf, available at any home improvement store, makes a great living room practice green – and its borders can be cut in elegant curves to match your décor (been there, done that).

9. Learn to love, or at least tolerate, or at least survive, watching The Champions Tour.

10. Familiarize yourself with the definition of MOI, and don’t be afraid to apply it when your man starts watching too much LPGA!

These ten tricks should help you stave off the dreaded golf widow syndrome. Remember, it doesn’t matter how low your score is; a cute outfit, some comfy golf shoes, and a patient husband are all it takes to make the game worth playing. Just make sure your husband reads <TOP FIVE – What NOT to do when golfing with a woman> first!


Spice up your marriage using THIS golf skill

March 29, 2010

It was the perfect swing, precise and powerful, a clean hit off my 6-iron’s sweet-spot. The exquisite “PING” was followed by a more human, yet equally exultant, sound from close behind my mat. It was warm and gutteral, an expression of blissful satisfaction entirely inappropriate for the driving range. I turned to find my husband standing behind me, his mouth still hanging open.

“Do you need a tissue?” I asked with a giggle.

“Don’t stop!” chided dear hubby. “You’ll lose your rhythm!” 

So, like any good wife whose husband’s golf guidance is finally paying off, I pulled out my driver and savoured the ecstasies as said husband sailed clear over the moon. I can only imagine what would be coming out of Hank Haney’s mouth if Charles Barkley ever swung so pure. The Golf Channel would need a whole different rating!


A whole new way of looking at golf…

March 22, 2010

It’s no secret that golf is a mental game. Is there anyone who hasn’t flubbed it off the first tee after an hour of perfection on the range? Body memory doesn’t cut it where golf’s concerned. There are too many other variables at work on the system. So why not try looking at golf as a ‘series of problems to solve’, rather than a ‘set of skills to master’?

This is my new 2010 golf philosophy. I’ve always learned by understanding and exploring underlying patterns, in math, physics, even new social situations. What are the rules? I ask, before finding out how far I can bend them. Golf is physics; physics is about predictability, which just so happens to be the biggest challenge in golf.

Any relationship requires trust. To be honest, even after 6 years, golf and I still haven’t quite bonded. It’s my fault, really. Not once have I ever sat down with the game, took it by the hand, and said those magical words: “Ok, so now let’s talk about you.” This season, I’m putting our past animosity aside. I’ve spent too long feeling helpless, like some poor abused child, quaking over the ball, not having any clue whether I’m to be rewarded or punished for my persistence. This year, I’m exploring the ball’s motivations before bringing my body back into the equation.

In math, every complicated equation can be broken down into its components and worked through systematically (BEDMAS anyone?). The golf swing’s string of complex contortions can be worked the same way. Basic physics are the simple additions and subtractions underlying golf. Only by developing a close personal relationship with the fundamentals can one hope to have any sense of security (or even hope) while standing over the ball. The idea isn’t to produce a perfectly consistent swing (although a girl can still dream), but to know enough about the ‘why’ to be able to bring an errant swing back from the brink on the 17th hole. Because isn’t that as much as any of us golfers can ask for… just a wee bit of hope?


Suffering for the ‘shot’ at Shaganappi

July 10, 2009
Green in progress at Shaganappi's first hole

Green in progress at Shaganappi's first hole

I have a new, profound, respect for investigative journalists. As part of my ongoing coverage of the renovations at Calgary’s Shaganappi Golf Course, I needed a shot of the progress being made on the first hole. But when I showed up with my camera, I found that someone had put a fence in the way. No problem. I’m a resourceful gal who doesn’t mind a little bushwhacking, so I dove into the shrubbery to find a better angle.

My backpack got caught and, less than three feet in, I was properly stuck. No problem. I ditched the backpack and pushed forward. My shins and hands got the worst of it. Dozens of prickly branches left dozens of tiny red welts (tiny being relative, of course). I thought of the poor reporters in Vietnam and gritted my teeth, thinking, “you’ve got it easy, girl, and you know it.” Then right in front of me… another fence!

Into the jungle

Into the jungle

Oh great, another fence!

Oh great, another fence!

No problem. I followed it until a gap opened up in line with the hole. There was a big, wobbly roll of extra chainlink blocking most of the opening, but I climbed up onto it and, perching precariously, took the shot you see above. National Geographic shot of the week, it ain’t. But it did allow me feel a certain kinship with the wild lensemen of yore, those brave souls who brought the trenches to life a hundred years ago, and all those since who’ve weedled their way into far tighter corners than I, for the sake of ‘the shot’.

Perched for the shot

Perched for the shot

I was ‘snapped’ back to reality when I went back to grab my backpack. As I tugged it free, a nasty little twig whipped straight up and hit me on the nose, right on the tender bottom bit. OUCH! It stung like mad! My eyes watered and I struggled, half blind, to get out of the darned jungle. Yes, a kinship indeed. I cursed the fences, and the builders who’d put them there. What on Earth did a plot of scraped up land need protection from anyway? And then it hit me… Oh, I guess from people like me~wink.


A personal apology to Dorothy…

June 22, 2009

Coming up to the last tee box of a Saturday morning nine, one of my freshly introduced foursome, dear Dorothy, told us how she had never once hit the short par three’s green in 15 years of playing Shaganappi.

“Today’s the day,” she said, and promptly topped the ball straight into the rough.

The other two women played it safe, as in nowhere near the green. I shot last, taking a chance on my moody 5 hybrid rather than my usual 6 iron. I’ve never hit it so clean, and the ball sailed singing all the way to the very center of the green.   

I’m sorry Dorothy. I really am. But my ego has to say a little thank you, because you set me up for a shot that – with golf’s wicket sense of humor – couldn’t possibly have gone anywhere else.


Making a statement on the golf course…

June 19, 2009
Design sketch for pink plaid, vintage style, golf pants

Design sketch for pink plaid, vintage style, golf pants

I’ve been looking for ways to improve my golf game that don’t involve setting up camp on David Leadbetter’s front lawn. These pants just might do the trick. They should have sufficient flair to take my shot making (or at least my mood in the face of a four putt) to the next level. You wouldn’t believe how much lower I shoot whenever (and my apologizes to Gloria Steinem) I add a skort to my swing routine. These pants could take me all the way to the LPGA!  

But then again, instead, what would happen if I spent all those hours it would take me to create the pattern, source the fabric, and sew everything together, at the driving range? Hmmm, tough choice (I know, Gloria, I know- sigh).


How to golf in the snow…

June 9, 2009
Blizzards in June? That's Calgary for you!

Blizzards in June? That's Calgary for you!

There are swing issues, and then there are swing issues! Snow in June is definitely one of the latter. A frost delay this late in the year is one thing, and don’t even get me started on the time hubby and I got snowed in at Myrtle Beach (no joke!), but a powdery blanket of mother-nature’s-winter-gift-to-golf-widows can make a whole city cranky. So how do you golf in the snow? Thankfully, this time of year, the answer is easy…  Just wait for it to melt!