I don’t care about the five people I’m going to meet in heaven. What concerns me are the three people I’m going to meet at the golf course. I’m not crazy. I don’t consider golfing heaven, because it can be hell. Also, the last thing I want to happen is to die while I’m golfing. Even—and especially if—I die after getting a hole-in-one.
One of my greatest fears is that, if I die while golfing, someone at my funeral will say, “At least Phil died doing what he loved.” Here’s a hint: Phil is inherently lazy. Unless I die in my sleep, I haven’t died doing what I loved.
The reason I care about the three people I meet at the golf course is because golfing is all about four, and three plus me equals four. It is no coincidence that you yell, “Fore!” when your errant golf shot is about to hit someone. There are no random acts in life. “Fore!” is the warning cry in golf because, without four, you’re in danger.
To maximize time, golf-course math has dictated that a foursome is how you play golf. Three are too few and five are too slow. If you show up at the golf course with only a threesome, then the clubhouse will sometimes assign a single player to turn your threesome into four.
A single player is really just a loner with a set of golf clubs. And, sorry, but Ted Kaczynski, Mark David Chapman and the guy I golfed with last week who said “Quack. Quack” after I hit a ball in the water have really personified the non-personable.
Maybe you’re reading this thinking you are a gregarious, fun-loving golfer who likes to golf by yourself and maybe even sell a few bottles of your Amway cleaning solution along the way. Guess what? You bother me, too. Your time alone at the golf course has either made you a better player than I—therefore, you bother me—or, you’re a worse golfer than the threesome you’ve been paired up with. In this case, on a scale of 1 to 10, you’re a triple bogey on the You Bother Me scale.
When I call for a tee time and the pro shop asks, “How many in your group?” I always yell, “Fore!”
The three people I want to meet at the golf course are Dave, Renee and Mike. Renee isn’t a powerful hitter, but she hits the ball straight. She has taught me to bring consistency to my game. Mike is a scientist and, on the putting green, he approaches his shot like he’s looking through a microscope. He brings precision to my game. Dave has friends in Arizona. I don’t know if he plays golf down there, but he does visit local breweries. Dave brings beer.
It’s not like I’m just along for the ride; I bring cheap to golf. For starters, this year, we have all purchased the Salt Lake City frequent player’s card, which is valid at nine city courses. On the front end, it may seem that paying $75 to become a frequent player would make a hole in one’s wallet, but we get 30 percent off all green fees and range balls each time we golf. This means, by golfing 10 times in one year, the $75 starts paying us back in 30 percent golf dividends.
Combine this card with hitting range balls at Glendale (1560 W. 2100 South) or Nibley Park (2780 S. 700 East), and you’ll really see a return on your investment. The driving ranges at these two courses are just to the left of hole No. 1. Golfers who use their best ball for the first shot of the day are often disappointed to learn these two driving ranges are very approachable with a hard hook or slice. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one of those one-hit wonder balls in your range bucket. Once, I found four.