Life on the Other Side: Golf Club

I’ve just opened a boutique bed and breakfast on the golf course in Caesarea, Israel. Me and golf so don’t go!

My idea of a great sport is racing across town to make it to Bloomingdales just as they open the doors. Then, power-walking through each department to get to the sale items before every other yenta in New York elbows me out of the way. Now there’s a physical activity that includes stamina, speed and endurance – a triathlon if ever there was one.

But golf? You call that a sport?

Let’s see, it starts with membership in THE CLUB. (Words are emphasized because it’s very important to use the right lingo.) If I’m not mistaken, it costs something like $450,000 just to join. And then you have the additional honor of paying yearly dues. And if you’re even thinking of playing the GAME, it costs you another $20,000 a pop. So let’s assume that you’ve mortgaged the house and bequeathed them your first-born son, you’re in. Now you get to play.

No wait. First you need the right wardrobe. I remember the days when all you saw on the golf course was oceans of plaid. Plaid belongs only on a Scotsman in kilts or an afghan thrown over a sofa in a Ralph Lauren ad. But I see the clothing has improved. You can wear chinos and a polo shirt (but it must be perfectly ironed – creases are definitely frowned upon). If you’re a woman (or a male cross-dresser) you can wear a mini-skirt or skort – but if you have 75-year-old legs, you might want to re-think that. Show up looking like a shlump in a stained tee-shirt and cut-off jeans, and you’ll be kicked all the way back to where you came from.

Here’s how your golfing day begins: You wake up at an hour when the rest of the continent is still asleep. Because if you don’t get to THE COURSE really early, you won’t be able to TEE OFF on time. You meet your buds, sorry – golfing partners – and head over to THE GREEN. (Like what, is there another name for the color of grass?)

First there’s the perfunctory chatter about the business, the wife, the kids, the stock market – whatever you guys talk about – or if it’s women, more yakety-yak about whatever. OK, let’s get down to the game. You have to pull out the right club. Here we have our first serious dilemma.

Shall it be the wood or the iron? Which number? Come on guys – it’s basically a schmichik on a stick. You gotta give them numbers? So pick it out already and let’s get on with this. No, now you have to measure.

You look at the ball, then you look at the green, or is it the fairway? And you better not have laid down your bag on the green – that’s a big no-no. You need to lay it on THE FRINGE – so it doesn’t bend the little grass blades. Then you think – which club will get the little ball closest to the little hole? Never mind that your eyesight is so bad you can’t even see the little hole. They put a gigantic flag in there so you can’t miss it. Ah, you’ve finally decided – let’s go for the nine-iron (and I thought deciding on a master’s thesis was tough work). Now hit the damn ball and let’s move on.

Uh-uh, first you have to practice a couple of SWINGS. You know, get warmed up. Then suddenly, HALT! Not the right club – go back to bag, which is at THE FRINGE, and change clubs. The wood is needed for this shot. Yes, definitely the wood. This goes on and on for hours until you get to all nine or 18 holes and finish THE GAME.

When it’s all over and you’ve worked up an impressive sweat, you slap your buddy on the back, say something like, “Good game, Yossel, how about a beer?” and you head to the PRIVATE MEMBERS ROOM at THE CLUB. You talk about what a tough round it was. How totally exhausting today’s game was, how the sun was too hot and the putts were too long and the chips were too chippy and the divots too deep. And then you make a date to do it all over again the following week.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the GAME OF GOLF. Go figure.

P.S. I may not be a golf maven – but I do love hosting people. So if you’re in the neighborhood, for a golf game or not, come stay at Casa Caesarea! For details, visit www.annekleinberg.com and www.casacaesarea.com.

 

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