A little levity on the links | TheUnion.com

A little levity on the links

With the game of golf comes an abundance of humor. Not only does golf’s attractive dichotomy of pleasure and pain lend itself to a need for comedic relief, but I believe that in order to be a good player you have to be able to smile in the face of adversity and be able to laugh at yourself.

In life, you cannot take yourself too seriously and the game also has a tendency toward reproach for those who think more highly of themselves than they should. On the flip side, players are often rewarded when they simply seek recreation or competition with a spirit of humility and a light heart.

Some of the world’s funniest folks have become ambassadors for golf and most of us have fond memories of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby strolling down the fairway. Today, we have Bill Murray and Ray Romano who help carry the torch to television viewers throughout the year.

Many people send me their favorite stories and as you know, I am committed to helping you play your best golf, even if it requires an attempt at humor. Here are a few select stories, quips, and quotes that should put a smile on your face.

– A local priest was an avid golfer. Every chance he could get, he would be on the golf course. One Sunday morning, the warm sun was rising against a clear blue sky, and the temperature was pleasant and rising. It was the perfect day for a round of golf.

The priest couldn’t resist. He called the church office to tell him that he was sick and could not give his sermon. He packed the car up, and drove three hours to a golf course where he wouldn’t see someone who knew him. In good spirits, he began to play the course.

An angel up above was watching the priest and was quite perturbed. He went to God and said, “Have a look at this. He should be punished for what he is doing.” God nodded in agreement. After a bogey on the first hole, the priest teed up on the second. He swung at the ball, and it sailed effortlessly through the air and landed right in the cup 260 yards away. He was so excited he could hardly stand it.

The angel was dismayed. He turned to God and said, “I beg your pardon, but I thought you were going to punish him.” God smiled. “I did. Think about it; who can he tell?”

– The room was full of pregnant women and their partners, and the birthing class was in full swing.

The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly, along with informing the men how to give the necessary assurances at this stage of the plan. The teacher then announced, “Ladies, exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. And, gentlemen, it wouldn’t hurt you to take the time to go walking with your partner!”

The room got really quiet. Finally, a man in the middle of the group raised his hand. “Yes?” replied the teacher… “Is it all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk?”

Please consider these helpful hints before your next round:

A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.

It’s easier to get up at 6 a.m. to play golf than at 10 a.m. to mow the yard.

You can hit a two-acre fairway 10 percent of the time and a two-inch branch 90 percent of the time.

Talking to a golf ball won’t do any good, unless you do it while your opponent is teeing off.

Or, think about the contents of these unwritten books:

How to properly line up your fourth putt.

How to get more distance off the shank.

How to rationalize a six-hour round

How to let a foursome play through your twosome

How to relax when you’re hitting three off the tee

When to suggest major swing corrections to your opponent

When to re-grip your ball retriever.

How about a few quotes from some of golf’s more popular players:

“I deny allegations by Bob Hope that during my last game of golf I hit an eagle, a birdie, an elk, and a moose.” — Gerald Ford

“My family was so poor they couldn’t afford to have kids. So the lady next door had me.” —Lee Trevino

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.” — Arnold Palmer.

You gotta love it. Take the game seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Who knows? It may help your game.

John Renslow is a PGA Class A Professional and Instructor at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at jrenslow@pga.com.

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