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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life is the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, you can find an archive list at the bottom of this page.

Wednesday, October 16

Golf Pain

I found this in my files, an essay I wrote for my golf novel Match Play. I thought I could use it and others like it as inter-chapters in the novel, stuff about golf that I'd observed along the way. Never got around to using it but I think it qualifies as interesting for anyone who's ever played this idiotic game.

CLUB NOTES FROM SHALLOW CREEK, “The Knuckle”

I’m fifty-four years old, but I like to think of myself as a young fifty-four. You know, I still walk the course (Who needs a damn cart anyway?), carry my bag, still manage to crank out some pretty long drives, and when I shake hands with strangers I like to think they’re thinking, “Wow! What a grip this guy’s got!” It’s true, I’m rounder around the middle than I used to be, quite a bit rounder, in fact, but generally my health and physique are pretty good for a man my age.

But lately, especially when I get out of bed in the morning, I’ve begun to notice some aches and pains I never noticed before. My Achilles’ tendons where they attach to the heels tend to tighten overnight, and my first steps away from the bed are more like a man walking through hot coals or over broken glass. My wife sees me and says, “What’s the matter?” and I say, “Nothing. Just a little sore this morning.” She says, “Uh huh,” and rolls over and back to sleep. Her Uh huh says worlds to me, Uh huh, you’re fifty-four; uh huh, you should ride in a cart more often; uh huh, you golf too much.

I moan quietly as I hobble to the bathroom, stand one-legged massaging calf muscles, first the right, then the left, do a few trunk twists in the mirror, and renew my daily promise that today, this very day, I’ll start that diet and lose that ten- (twenty?) pound tire around the middle of that otherwise youthful body I see in the glass.

And even the minor parts of me don’t work as well as they once did. A year ago, I mis-hit a long iron so badly that I sprained the knuckle on my left ring-finger. And now, a year later, it’s still painfully swollen and acts as an instant reminder every time I hit a ball out on the toe. The shock wave travels from clubhead to shaft to left ring-finger. My golfing companions have learned to duck when they hear my scream, because about half the time I also lose the club. I think I may have solved the problem by wearing a finger cot inside my glove. A finger cot is a knit cotton finger protector for factory workers, and for my purpose it works wonderfully. It’s thick enough that inside the glove it cushions the knuckle from the shock wave and keeps that finger somewhat immobile on the shaft since I can’t bend it completely as I grip the club. I haven’t screamed in pain for quite a while now, and I think the swelling is finally subsiding. My wife often suggests that I take a month or two away from golf and give it time to heal.

I don’t want to hear it

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