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.


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).


Savouring dawn at the driving range

May 28, 2009
 Savouring a May dawn at Calgary's Shaganappi golf course
A late May dawn breaks over Calgary’s Shaganappi golf course

There is only one smell more delicious to a golfer than freshly cut grass, and if you scratch this picture on your monitor hard enough, and breath in deep enough, you’ll get a taste of it. Mmm, that’s right, it’s the sweet smell of dawn breaking over a course yet to be conquered. Good luck, and remember… smooth tempo…always tempo. I’m not trying to be poetic here, or metaphorical, or in any way philosophical, just putting a gentle reminder out into the universe that unless you’re a 14 year old gymnast, any kind of grace before 7am is going to be harder than breaking par at St. Andrews in a hurricane (ok, so maybe just a bit metaphorical). 


17th at Sawgrass comes to Calgary’s Shaganappi Golf Course

May 26, 2009
First hole at Shaganappi - Construction of new layout

First hole at Shaganappi May 26th - Construction of new layout

The front nine of Calgary’s Shaganappi golf course is undergoing a major face-lift to accommodate the city’s new western extension of its light rail system. Lucky for us players, rather than simply chopping yardages, the course architects have livened up the layout with an exiting new 1st hole and some creative tweaking on holes 2,3,4,6, and 7 (view map of reconfiguration).

Starting next season, Spring 2010 (fingers crossed), we Calgarians will be teeing it up on our very own 17th at Sawgrass. That infamous brute of hole is America’s most notorious, and has crushed its share of Tigers, but we Canadians are a tougher lot. None of this ‘putting’ off the hard stuff till the end. We like to face our challenges head on. Blizzard? B’ah, what blizzard? High income taxes? B’ah, bring them on! Impossible green in regulation? B’ah, um…ok… you got me on this one. I’m just happy we won’t be teeing it up on network television.