By Russell G. Bell
I did it. I caused this problem and now I am faced with the consequences. I knew that I was possibly opening Pandora’s Box but I had to do it. What was this grievous error I made? What had I done which has caused me to pause and wonder the ramifications of my actions? Mind you, these actions were not impulsive, they were well thought out and performed with love and yet I shudder at what I have possibly wrought.
What have I done that is now viewed with fear and trepidation? I gave my wife 3 one-hour private golf lessons with a local lady pro as a Christmas present. You ladies are saying, “What’s the problem?” There is no gray area here for you ladies. You ladies think of this as an act of love (which it was, dear) and you see this as further proof of my desire to make the game of golf more enjoyable for my wife (which it was, dear). There are, however, two sides to every coin; go ahead and check your coin purse - I assure you this is the case.
The male readers of this article are cringing and muttering bad things under their breath and whereas I don’t feel these epithets are deserved I can understand from where they come. Men have long intimidated women by reminding them how weak and frail they are compared to the male of the species. Rarely have we conferred the rank of excellence on the female outside of the kitchen or bedroom and never would it be applied to a co-ed sport. Once upon a time I too would have muttered these same things about a man who had violated these sacred teachings, but guys, I have news for you, those were the old days. This is the new world order where Annika Sorenstam can play in the golf skins game along with the men and make a good showing for herself. If women have the ability to compete with men and are not an embarrassment to themselves or their sex then I say "Go Girl!"
I know I am feeling angst over this decision but I just have to put those feelings aside and say “So what if she starts beating me at my own game!” If it was meant to be it was meant to be. However, as soon as she beats me I will pull out the PGA rule book and polish up my vocabulary and knowledge of the rules. I know I will have to abide by these same rules but I am only trying to level the playing field. Speaking of level fields, if she beats me too badly I will just have to take up Polo - I know her fear of horses will keep me safe for years to come.
I have recently retired and can now indulge in the one passion I have had all of my life, golf. I was an Army brat and each Army post had a golf course and a bowling alley. To earn money, I set pins and caddied.
Automatic pin setters came into use long before the courses had carts for the golfers so my interest stayed with the links. One thing the Army courses lacked was a professional teaching staff so my swing, stance and other fundamentals were developed by watching the golfers. Soon, I spent all of the money I earned on rental clubs, balls, gloves, tees and course fees. I did not own the proper shoes until I was an adult.
I have been playing golf for over 45 years and although it is my passion I chose to live 26 of those years in Alaska where golf was limited by the short season and the hard to get tee times.
I am also a stage actor and have performed in
over 100 stage productions. I have made television commercials,
voice over work on the radio, and print advertising.