Golf Transparency -the egalitarianism of golf

My GHIN number update came back, and my handicap index is 18.4, with a course handicap of 21 for Wakonda. I have been playing poorly, but I always do better in competition. Golf takes on a different, truer aspect when its played in formal competition. Yesterday evening, I played in the Wakonda Match Play Championship, handicapped flight.

Golf reveals its egalitarian nature in the handicapping system. I played RG, a 16 handicapper who defeated me during my run at the cup several years ago in a memorable match that taught me a lot about myself. He is an excellent player and can spin off some marvelous golf shots that exceed the level suggested by his handicap. Golf allows such unequal competitors to play on a level field with the handicap system. He gave me 5 strokes which were instrumental in keeping the match even. Through 16 holes, we were level, after RG came back from a 3 shot deficit. We were playing in a thunderstorm, barely able to see the shot beyond 20 feet. I was further handicapped by having to wear sunglasses which were prescription sunglasses. Without it, I was basically blind, but due to the waning cloudy light, the ball and target were dark. I do think that the sensory deprivation allowed me to swing better.

I was able to line up, square, square, square and swing with my head still. This allowed me to make a natural bogey, net par with a concession, followed up by a ball on green on the final hole with RG’s unfortunately lost into dark woods. This match was very close, and could only have been so with accurate handicaps.

It makes me wonder why we this concept works in golf but not in life at large. It’s written in the constitution that All Men Are Created Equal, but this is not true, is it?

Apple passes Microsoft in stock valuation

This must break some sort of apocalyptic seal presaging the end times. Apple has passed Microsoft in terms of stock valuation (NYT link). Who would have predicted this fifteen years ago after the Newton debacle and the clone wars? In those dark days, I actually took it upon myself to help sell Macintoshes at the CompUSA in Columbus Circle, and I was not alone. It was strange how anti-Apple the sales staff was. I see this ultimately as the proof that people appreciate simplicity and perfection in design.

Golf Passage of the Mysteries

A poem written driving from Detroit to Des Moines after we missed a connecting flight, we were returning from a spring golf trip to Hilton Head, myself and several most excellent golfing companions. As we pulled out of a convenience store lot, I had the vision of a wizened old man, a specter, hailing us with the following words…
Five and One man, on a journey!
Heading westwards, on into the night.
Burdens shared, and sleep neglected,
Y’all crossing the river, and arrive at first light.
Great joy you have found, and more do you seek
Onwards and onwards, for promises to keep,
Hammer on the right foot, no shoe on the left
Still many hours, before you shall sleep.
So go, I say go, and listen No More,
I am an illusion, but so is your labor,
That ball is not a ball, that hole is not a hole,
And that last hasty meal, you will not savor.
And when you are home, and you lay in your bed
Alive you will feel, alive with no dread
And in seeking all that golfin’ pleasure,
You realize the truth that the company is the treasure.