If you’re a golfer, you would probably agree that it’s the most maddening of all sport. Oh, wait a minute. That’s tennis, isn’t it.
Well, tennis or not, golf is very annoying, that’s for sure. But the amazing thing is that we keep coming back for more. We’re either gluttons for punishment or delusional to the point of thinking that we will eventually conquer the silly game.
As you head out for another dazzling round of “flog” — that’s golf spelled backwards, which is symbolic — here’s some fairway trivia with which you can impress the members of your foursome.
How’s this for a great golf merchandizing tie-in.
The ultimate place for Christmas stocking stuffers has to be the Christmas Lake Golf Course in Santa Claus, Indiana.
The head pro there says that the calls for gift items usually start in October and the mail-order business is hot and heavy right up to Christmas.
The logo on all the gifts is a smiling Santa standing next to a Christmas tree with “Christmas Lake Golf Course” emblazoned below.
Who were the first PGA and LPGA pros to shoot 59s on tour?
Well, ladies first. Not surprisingly, it was Annika Sorenstam. Her 13-under dazzler came in the second round of the 2001 Standard Register Ping event. Many people will remember this, not just for the terrific golf, but also for some TV embarrassment on the part of ESPN. In spite of the fact that Annika was putting together this historic round of tour golf, and before the round was over, ESPN cut away for tennis coverage. Oopsy.
Meanwhile, over on the men’s PGA tour, the first 59er award goes to Al Geiberger. His 13-under performance came in the second round of the 1977 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic.
Geiberger, the 1966 PGA champion, started his amazing round by being 2-under after five holes. Then, he came up with six birdies and an eagle in seven holes. When he got to the last nerve-wracking hole, he birdied that one, too, for the first 59 in PGA tour history!
When you hear 59 in PGA golf, you might be thinking, “Don’t I remember David Duval having a round like that?”
Very good. Yes, he did. He had a sparkling 59, 22 years after the first one by Geiberger. This one came in the final round of the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Duval, appropriately, finished the round and the tournament with an eagle on the last hole.
Extra trivia at no extra charge: Also notable among ridiculously low golf scores is a 58 from Shigeki Maruyama. Though not achieved in a PGA tour event, this memorable collection of 11 birdies and an eagle came in the 2000 U.S. Open sectional-qualifying.
The rest of us hackers, slashers, mulligan-takers and ball-hunters-in-the-woods can only be envious.
Are there any new golf lines?
Thanks for asking, but no, there aren’t. Instead, here are a few old ones:
• Golf is harder than baseball. In golf, you have to play your foul balls.
• If you find you don’t mind playing golf in the rain, snow or even a hurricane, here’s a valuable insight — your life is in trouble.
• An interesting thing about golf is that no matter how badly you play, it’s always possible to get worse.
• Golf is a hard game to figure out. One day you’ll go out and slice it and shank it, hit into all the traps and miss every green. The next day you go out and for no good reason, you’ll be really awful.
• If your best shots are the practice swing and the “gimme” putt, you might want to reconsider this game.
• Golf is the only sport where the most feared opponent is you.
• Golf is like marriage: If you take yourself too seriously, it won’t work, and both are expensive.