Golf Smarts
26 Jan 2007

By Rex Vanderpool amateurgolf.com Staff Writer

I read something recently that absolutely blew my mind. It was the results of IQ tests given to professional athletes. It ranked the various sports by average IQs. Out of the dozen major sports tested golf came in dead last. (incidentally, bowling came in first) I was excited about this news because it gave me a brand new excuse. I am too intelligent to play golf!

This reminded me of one of the better rounds of golf I have ever played. While I was in school at the University of California at San Diego I lived right next to Torrey Pines Municipal, home of 2008 US Open. In order to play it you either paid through the nose or you waited in your car in the parking lot all night to play dawn patrol before the assigned tee times began each day.

The latter was an open invitation for an all night poker game with all the malted trimmings. The round I am referring to began at first light after one of those sleepless, keg-friendly nights. I shot my first and to date only under-par round on the South Course that day.

In retrospect, the key was that there was no key. I wasn’t thinking about anything. I apparently had just enough brain activity to pump my heart and to breathe because I don’t remember a single shot, which for me is very unusual. My only thoughts involved remembering where the ball went so I could find it and hit it again.

I now realize that stupid people, and evidently PGA tour pros, must feel like this all the time. What a luxury that must be. They say that ignorance is bliss and there are fewer places than a golf course that this holds more true.

Unfortunately, most rounds we are far from ignorant. We are constantly bombarding ourselves with swing thoughts, worries, and the dreaded “what-ifs”. Personally, I can tell you where every OB line and hazard are on every course I have ever played. Somehow I doubt Fred Couples or John Daly can do the same.

A few months ago, during an argument, my wife called me a “stupid, stupid man”. It got my hopes up for lower golf scores, no luck to report so far. Apparently there is a subtle yet significant difference between unaware and insensitive.

Since then “stupid” has become a nickname she uses with great fondness, at least I think it’s fondness. If only I could be as thoughtless playing golf as I am planning when to play golf. Trust me guys, signing up for a tournament during your wife’s birthday weekend is not a good idea.

As an aside, I think I may have proven that God is a woman. During the aforementioned birthday weekend, on the morning of my golf tournament, I was so sick that I couldn’t even stand up, let alone go golfing. It was as if God herself looked down and proclaimed the 11th commandment, “Thou shall not golf on thy wife’s birthday”. All I could do was bow before her power at the porcelain God in my bathroom and be humbled many, many, times.

Friends, next time you go out to play do whatever works for you to quiet the lump between your ears. You might shave a few strokes off and you’ll probably have more fun.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached at rex@amateurgolf.com.

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