A Few (27) of My Favorite (Golf) Things
After penning my list of pet golf peeves a while back, something occurred to me: For everything that rankles me worse than a shank, there are 10 that catch me flush on the sweet spot. Why put the negative stuff out there and not the positive?
Today, I rectify the situation with another self-indulgent list. Cue “My Favorite Things” – preferably the Coltrane version – and see how many of mine match yours:
- A three-hour round. Remember those?
- Walking an empty course, solo, first thing on a Sunday morning.
- Courses where the clubhouse is the only house.
- Playing partners who are quick to take a drop when their ball is obviously lost.
- Hybrids. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou…
- Launch monitors, and the guys who know how to use them.
- Hand-held GPS units and rangefinders.
- Playing by feel, when you leave the GPS at home and the course only has 150-yard markers.
- Bubba Watson’s… Bubba-ness.
- Marshals who wave and smile.
- Windy rounds (but not too windy).
- Smooth, fast greens (but not too fast).
- Courses that still use caddies.
- Mike Keiser, founder of Bandon Dunes and Cabot Links, and golf’s version of Steve Jobs.
- The town of St. Andrews, Scotland – No. 1 on my bucket list.
- Architects who draw inspiration from the Old Course.
- Rock-hard fairways (so long as there’s a little grass).
- 19th holes serving local microbrews.
- Pull carts, now that I’m old enough to admit it.
- Rory McIlroy’s swing. That boy brings tears to my eyes.
- Tiger Woods’ glare. The memory of it, anyway.
- Luke Donald’s putting stroke.
- Darren Clarke’s personality. And love of Guinness.
- David Duval, for his bravery in coming out of the closet. As a Democrat, that is.
- Golf by the sea. But any body of water will do.
- Mike Davis of the USGA, whose U.S. Open course setups emphasize shotmaking and imagination. Yeah, imagine that.
- Caddyshack quotes, especially Carl Spackler’s epic yarn about looping for the Dalai Lama:
So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, ‘Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.’ And he says, ‘Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.
We should all be so lucky.
Daniel Mitchell is a golf writer and Golf-Newz.com contributor who lives in Jupiter, Fla., a few miles from Tiger Woods as the crow flies but worlds away in every other respect. An avid golfer since age 12, Mitchell carries a (shaky) single-digit handicap, investing far more time in his dogs than his swing.