Golf is Not a Verb

June 23, 2011

Dear Golfers,

When speaking about the great game of golf, please do not use golf as a verb.  The Golf Gods will get their revenge and you will be no better than an 18 handicap for the rest of your life. If you want to wear the clothes, walk the walk or ride the cart then please talk the talk.

If I see another bumper sticker or license plate bracket that says  “I’d rather be golfing”  I might just toss a club.  The correct saying should be “I’d rather be playing golf”  You do not “golf” with your buddies, you “play golf” with your buddies. You didn’t “golf 18 holes today,” you “played 18 holes.”

Oh and another thing, PLAY GOLF FASTER!!!

Thanks!

PS

I do think it is OK if you say “I really golfed my ball today” But only if you really did!

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I do not like the word choke and think it is one of the most over-used words in sports today.  Did Lebron James choke?  Did the Vancouver Canucks as a team choke?   If you strike out in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and the score tied, did you choke?  Did Rory McIlroy choke at the Masters?  Will someone playing in the US Open this weekend choke?  Maybe.  Maybe the answer is yes or maybe the answer is no.  There is no real way to know.  There are just a lot of people on the sidelines or announcing that think they know what is in someone’s head when most have never had the talent to step into the arena, put it all on the line, give it a go and see what happens.

I have to be honest. I have had opportunity in the past for achievement and not always performed my best.  A few times you might even say I choked.  But a couple of times I did everything I could and it just wasn’t meant to be.  It happens. Sports are tough!  Sometimes there are bad breaks.  Sometimes you wake up and everything is different.  You get out of your routine or something just feels a little off.  Are these things a sign of choking or just stuff that happens when you play a game?  Clearly, I have been nervous and have messed up sometimes.  But if feeling nervous is a sign of choking then how do you explain all of the times I was nervous and was able to perform.  I was almost always nervous before every round I played. Did I choke each time?  Of course not!

No one but the player knows what is really happening out there.  Just because someone doesn’t perform up to the standards we are used to doesn’t mean that they choke.  Superstars are superstars because they make what is really tough look pretty easy.  We love the clutch player.  We love Michael Jordan hitting game winning jumpers or Tiger Woods making a 15 footer on 18 at Torrey Pines to tie for the lead.  But what happens if he misses?  Did he choke? Is he a choker now?  Its seems the only people who are called chokers are the ones right there at the end.  The ones that have gotten to the point where they can hit that clutch shot, make that key save, throw that TD pass or get the game winning hit.  The ones that didn’t make it that far are at home or watching on TV.

I remember someone saying that playing in the last group of a golf tournament was like playing naked.  It was all out there for everyone to see.  So if you are watching the US Open this weekend or watching a baseball game or you watched the Stanley Cup final, before you listen to an announcer talk about choking, think about how hard that person has worked to be in that position.  And maybe they are “choking” But maybe, just maybe what they are doing is really tough and there is only one champion and everyone else goes home.  And the true definition of a winner is someone who is willing to put it all on the line and see what happens even if he might be called a choker.

Desert Life

June 12, 2011

I have lived in Arizona for more than 20 years.  I moved here originally after my first year on tour.  I tried the Florida thing for a year, but didn’t like the bugs, the humidity, and the wind.  A friend’s parents bought a house at Desert Mountain in North Scottsdale.  I stayed with her for the winter and I was hooked.  It was hard not to be.  I was living in a beautiful house and playing a great golf course with amazing facilities.  I missed and still miss some things about living back East.  There are no UTZ BBQ rippled potato chips here.  There are no pizza subs or snowball stands.  And worse of all there are no steamed crabs!  Our family is there and we miss them but our New York experiment (We left AZ for a short time in 2006) to get us back East didn’t work and as my Mom says, “Arizona suits us”

I love living in the Arizona desert.  First, the weather here is amazing.  We have over 300 days of sun per year.  And it is warm.  I am a wimp!  The perfect temperature for me is about 90 degrees with very little humidity. People ask how we deal with the hot summers and I am not going to lie, it can be pretty brutal.  But we have pools and air conditioning and for most of the year, the weather is perfect.  I’ll take 110 degrees over 10 degrees any day of the year!  Secondly, we have beautiful landscaping.  It is different from the East but it is still beautiful.  The desert comes alive with different plants blooming at different times of the year.  One week, the prickly pear cactus’ start to flower.  A few weeks later the saguaro’s bloom.  And the mountains are fantastic.  I remember the first time I noticed how the sun setting turned the mountains purple.  I finally knew what the lyrics  “purple mountain majesty” in the song “America the Beautiful” meant.  (Each time I see the mountains turn that shade of purple I can’t help but break into song much to whomever is with me’s chagrin)  There is also plenty to do here.  We are only an hour’s flight to Vegas or LA. The Grand Canyon is a 3-hour drive.  We have the arts, a zoo and botanical gardens.  We have the Phoenix Coyotes and a couple other professional sports teams.  I have discovered good Mexican Food.  There is hiking, year-long outdoor tennis and plenty of great golf courses.  Football and all sporting events come on TV early in the day and are finished in time to go to bed at a decent hour.  We get lots of visitors.  It’s a good place to live.

There are some disadvantages to living here however.  That same beautiful desert is home to snakes, lizards, scorpions, coyotes, javelina, tarantulas, bobcats and mountain lions.   All but a mountain lion have been in our backyard!  Just two days ago as I was about to let Bella outside, a rattlesnake was laying right on our patio. My husband went out with a shovel and after about 10 whacks he  finally tossed  it into the desert. (It was gone the next morning-easy food for another desert dweller)

Here is the little bugger (this picture was taken through the door!)

We had a visitor once at our front door.  I looked outside and a javelina had decided that the rocks by our front door would make a good bed!  If you have never seen a javelina, they look like a wild pig but are actually in the rat family. Normally they travel in packs and have been known to eat small dogs and cats.

Javelina at the Front Door

Another time when cleaning up from a party, I was moving a couple of pool rafts and discovered a tarantula.  They say they are not poisonous, but they are very hairy and scary so I decide to wait to clean up later!

I named this Tarantula "Tina

I guess that is the price we pay for living in such a beautiful place.  Actually we are  living in their world.  We are the ones who took over their habitat and made it our own.  It’s kind of cool to be so close to nature.  I like being out in the desert and hearing the coyotes howl and the owls hoot.  I like looking up at the sky and seeing a million stars and knowing that this world is so much bigger than me. I like living the desert life.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I do not like Reality TV.  In fact it makes me angry.  It’s too easy.  Networks don’t have to think.  The audience doesn’t have to think.  Good shows are taken off of the air after very little time (Terriers)  because of poor ratings and people who want to watch reality TV instead of a well written drama or comedy.  I do not watch American Idol.  I do  not watch The Real Housewives of all cities on the East Coast.  I do not watch Jersey Shore. I do not watch Dancing with the Stars. I do not watch the Bachelor.  I do not watch any of it.

This is a tough time of year for a TV junkie like myself.  All of the shows that I watch have had their season finales.  There are a few summer shows but not many.  There is so little on, I am actually watching the NBA finals.    Even though I like watching TV, I am not into re-runs.  So I have all of theses channels and I can’t find a thing to watch!

During the season though, my DVR is pretty full.  I rarely watch anything live anymore.  Sports are the exception.  I really don’t like to watch a sport that has been taped.  If I care about the result, I am too curious to find out and then watching something that has already happened just doesn’t appeal to me.  So a typical night during the season has me watching a sport and then watching whatever I have on my DVR later in the evening.

Right now my favorite show on TV is The Good Wife.  That show has it all.  I like lawyer shows.  It has friendships, romance, drama and just great acting.  I also really like Parenthood.  It has great characters and really good pertinent story lines.  My other favorites include Modern Family, Glee, Criminal Minds, and Grey’s Anatomy (Yes, I still watch it!)

Mad Men, Nurse Jacki, The Big C, Breaking Bad, Southland, Shameless, In Plain Sight and Entourage are also some of my favorites that air on cable at different times of the year.

When all else fails, I watch Law & Order SUV and all of the different 20/20’s Dateline NBC’s, etc.

I know my list does not include 30 Rock, The Office, NCIS, or Bones.  I have heard good things about these shows but never started watching them.  I may catch them one day on DVD.  The way TV is going that may be my only option.