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Dan St. Yves: Fall into golf

Dan St. Yves 2005Perhaps I’m getting a bit too preoccupied with golf lately. I mean, the topic has come up at my weekly poker game, during a brief chat with the cashier at a grocery store and with the doctor who recently removed a golf tee from the ball of my foot (note to self – at my weight, balancing barefoot on a golf tee is clearly inadvisable).

As long as the snow stays away in your neck of the woods (or you happen to be departing to a hotspot like Arizona, for example), the golf clubs can’t be packed away in the garage for the season just yet. It wouldn’t be right. It would be like coffee without cream or sugar; Yogi without Boo-Boo. Like Canada without maple syrup – unthinkable.

If you have just taken up the endeavour of golf, don’t fear! You can still golf a bit longer, and try to get better before next spring, amid the mad rush back to the greens. As a matter of fact, I have compiled a few tips and definitions, which might help the novice golfer become a bit better acquainted with the game:

1) Woods. Woods or “drivers” are the clubs with the large, over-sized “heads”, and woods are also the likely destination of your ball, when driven off the tee box. This time of year, you may even add just a wee bit of excitement to your game of golf when you’ve gone into the woods to search for your wayward ball, perhaps coming face-to-face with a lumbering bruin searching for dinner. Always keep your wood club with you in the woods.

2) Irons. These are the sticks that range in appearance from something like a hockey stick to a scoop – like a front-end loader. Not a bad comparison, when you are trying to “loft” your ball out of a sand-trap, water hazard or adjacent backyard vegetable garden. These irons will number from about 1 to 9, with lofts graduating slightly, the higher the numbers go. The highest loft is on the sand wedge.  Not to be mistaken with a corned beef on rye, this iron will be your best friend in many situations along your average golf course layout.

3) Putter. NOT what the foursome ahead of you appears to be doing, this club is the last one that you will typically use once your ball has successfully landed on the green (more on that term momentarily). Of course, by the time your scorecard has reached 187 on the front nine, you’ll be wondering why you aren’t just puttering away in the garden back home.

4) Greens. This is a funny one. On the average golf course, the fairways are green, the forest is green, the guy that asked to play with your group is pretty green, and yet the description for the area specifically with the hole is “the green”. Golf was invented in Scotland, so I will assume that tempers began to flare after naming “fairway”, “rough”, and “another wee dram, ma’am”.

5) Clubhouse. The best part of a round of golf. After an arduous afternoon of driving around in a golf cart, being handed your clubs by a caddy, and quenching your thirst with chilled beverages straight from the mobile beer cart, you are finally able to relax in some small bit of comfort, along with your companions and eight flat-screen TVs. Until the next time the weather is fair, and you can all gather again.

Happy flailing…I mean falling, into golf…

Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at, or contact him at [email protected].