“Oh, I’m a ten handicap.”
Every once in a while, I will play with someone declares they are a 9 to 12 handicap. This is a suspicious number for me, as too often than not, it is a vanity handicap for a bogey golfer (or worse) who deludes himself with low scores. With one individual, I saw him take a double bogey and declare it a par – “it would have been a par, and I can’t take that six because I don’t sandbag.” Which was meant “I don’t sandbag like you.” I had driven him to distraction because I opened with a birdie on his course, and then proceeded to par the next four holes. It was an extraordinary stretch consisting of 190 yard shots landing and skidding to a halt ten feet from the hole, a sand blast to inches, drives that carved the fairways, and putts -really long putts, that dropped. I was carrying a 17 handicap at that time, and it was easily the best stretch of golf I had played up to that point. After he said that, my zone of invulnerability popped as I wanted to wrap my golf club around his neck. He settled into a comfortable pattern of 200 yard drives, 130 yard 7 irons, and fussy chips and drawn out 2 putt bogeys and occasional pars, carding a 92. I ended up with 95 and I posted my score. He didn’t because, he declared again that he was no sandbagger.
I keep reading Sarah Palin’s press releases and the bile rises and it’s that vanity handicap all over. She claims to be a budget cutter, but bills Alaskan for 300 days worked from home, 600 miles from the capital. She claims credit for an unbuilt pipeline. She claims to be a Republican (Party of Lincoln, liberty, competence, efficiency, and brilliance) but tried to censor books, crushed people who got in her way, and put cronies in positions of power -actually, I guess she is what passes for a Republican these days. She claims to be an American, but gave support to Alaskan separatists.
She brays about playing scratch when she really is a bogey golfer who plays with mulligans on every hole, rolled balls on the fairway, and 5 foot gimme’s.
The vanity handicap is that most awful of lies. Sandbaggers lie to others with awareness of their lies. People with vanity handicaps lie to themselves and are incapable of seeing through their delusion. When confronted, they wrap themselves up in self righteousness.
I believe that Mrs. Palin believes she is incapable of lying, believes everything she says is true, and has neither insight nor empathy. She is an empty vessel for broadcasting hacked speeches for Rove. John McCain, whom I once greatly admired, has betrayed us all by putting her on his ticket. The speech above is like a Seinfeld episode, a show about nothing, that appalls just the same.
God Bless America!
I’ve always read that “sandbagging” was the worst of sins and that “sandbaggers” are the most reviled of golf cheaters. However, I’ve always felt that “vanity handicappers” represented something far worse, because far more widespread, (+/- 75% of male recreational golfers, IMO) and far more insidious.
The sandbagger only practices his deception on a targeted segment of the golfing population, it’s premeditated and self-aware, and has a quantifiable purpose, whereas the vanity guy…or more rarely gal…plies his/her deception on everyone… frequently without even realizing it…and I think it’s one of the things that discourages beginning golfers from continuing with the game.
Helen Alfredsson, when she finished with a 63 yesterday at Sybase… a personal tournament and course best and the lowest score on tour this year… said, “when we play good, we wonder why we don’t do this all the time, because it’s so easy.”
That, in a nutshell, is what explains the vanity handicap. It’s also known as scoring better than you play. I’ve done that a couple of times. It feels awesome. Normally, however I do the opposite. Or so I say, think, feel with every fiber of my being. :o)
Are there two kinds of honesty -public honesty and self delusion.