This is part of a story I wrote many years ago which was published in a golf journal.
Attachment to inanimate objects is not uncommon. I know of people who are attached to their cars and motor cycles and their homes. But attachment to equipment with which they played a sport is uncommon. But one sport where such attachment is common is golf.
Teachers and philosophers, past and present, stress that the best way to happiness is to remain detached. Something akin to our government’ minimum needs programme! The less you have better off you are or to put it another way, the minimum are your needs, happier you will be. So they believe. This may be true for many aspects in real life but it certainly doesn’t apply to the unique breed of golfers and their game.
Golfers by and large believe that more they have the better and happier golfers they will be. Like a magpie, the golfer is born with an instinct to collect and hoard objects and looking at these periodically, he derives great pleasure. Here are some examples that I know of.
A golfer who recently passed away, left behind a stock of 2000 golf balls, 30 pairs of gloves, 10 golf sets, 20 golf bags, 2 small bags which contained an assortment of ball markers, cleaners, cleats, spike removers and tighteners, and ten pairs of golf shoes with tins of special polish, not to speak of the several dozens of caps and hats. Also found, neatly bound, an assortment of odd clubs, quite rusty, all of which rightfully belonged to the nearest scrap yard, but lovingly kept by the owner. Never very sympathetic to the husband’s attachment to the game, the widow was hard put to dispose of this life long collection of the golfing paraphernalia.
Another widow discovered in the attic, a foul smelling bag full of used gloves. She wasted no time in getting rid of the offensive material. She however recalled her late husband spending considerable time looking for this beloved bag of used gloves when he was alive.
An elderly golfer, long retired from playing the game, wanted to dispose of his 1950 vintage golf set. The word got around and I knew a beginner who wanted to buy an old set and I told him about this sale. He went to have a look. He found the old golfer in a mood of extreme sorrow at having to part with his collection of mashie, spoon, niblick etc [old names for golf clubs], names, the new golfer was unfamiliar with and therefore unable to appreciate. He had to sit through a narration of the history and exploits of the set. He returned disappointed with what was on offer, not being interested in the antique value of the set. What was surprising was that the the old man had kept the set for over twenty years after he stopped playing! He just couldn’t part with the set which had given him such good time in the past, and had very reluctantly agreed to part with it, only because it had occupied much needed space in the house. He appeared very pleased when my friend declined to buy the set!
A golfer I know keeps a hideous looking old golf bag in the corner of his living room. To make it look less conspicuous, his wife has ingenuously converted it into a sort of flower holder with the fond hope that visitors to her house will look at the flowers and ignore the bag. The poor woman is unaware that she has only succeeded in drawing attention to the unwanted object and the inevitable unpleasant questions related to the bag. The bag had a history. It had belonged to the golfer’s father who too was an avid golfer and the son had a lot of sentimental value attached to it. This kind of attachment some of us who are golfers may appreciate but certainly not his wife who is heard to openly comment that the set [the game] had ruined her father in law’s family life and now their lives. There is an element of truth in it as the avid golfer husband is to be found on the golf course almost daily and people tell me that his business is not doing all that well. Real chip of the old block don’t you agree?
[To be continued in the next posting.]
A four ball was playing a match [four ball means four golfers].They were all square at the fourteenth and the match had reached a very crucial stage when one of the gofers whom we will call Joe, received a call on the cell phone. The caller told Joe that his wife had taken suddenly ill. Joe said,’ take her to doc John, I will be there soon’ and continued the play. Thirty minutes later, when they were at the 16nth green, the call came that Doc John had sent her to the hospital and would Joe please go there? Joe said he will and continued the game. They reached the seventeenth with the game all square with the last and crucial hole remaining. And the call came informing Joe that his wife had passed away and would he please come. Joe appeared none too unhappy, he said to his partner,’ now she has passed away, I don’t have to hurry, l can relax and play the last hole and we will win the match’
Only a golfer can see Joe’s point.