CHIP SHOT: I am so lousy at golf. Every time I get to hole No. 5, the Monkey, I just can't seem to get the darn ball through without hitting that swinging metal tail. But I've always liked the idea of a six-stroke limit, thereby eliminating waiting for those slow players ahead of me who are often moving the ball away from the rail more times than is sportswomanlike.
"Oh, that kind of golf," I say to my sister when she points out a fancy country club in Albuquerque that has recently come under pressure for not allowing women early morning tee times on weekends, an apparently old sport at many private clubs in Arizona as well, as the Associated Press has so painfully pointed out in its recent survey.
Women and golf do have a bit of history, what with Mary Queen of Scots being the person who took up the sport in her home country in the mid-1500s and who is generally accepted as the person who brought it to France, that country of fine taste. It was here, supposedly, that "cadets" assisted her, bringing the word "caddy" into existence. Of course, this most likely occurred before she married that skunk of a cousin, the rebellious Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, who was found strangled to death, to no one's great surprise. Even less of a surprise was that proud Mary married James Hepburn, the fourth earl of Bothwell, who was acquitted of murdering poor Darnley.
I've only played golf one time at a private club. At first I refused, saying I really didn't have any idea how to play the game. But my charming male friend flattered me into playing, calling me intelligent, accurate and properly coifed (I had a ponytail at the time).
So off we went to the posh club. It was a little early for me, but he said something like "it won't be busy." He paid my fees, offered to carry my bag, gave me a few pointers and off we went to start the stroking. I was predictably horrible, but it was summer in the east, a little warm and humid, he was cute and I could laugh and yell all over the green.
Wrong. After a few holes, my friend slowly came over to me and said there was really something he needed to say. "So soon," I thought, the flush of romance enveloping me on the lovely grounds.
"You're too loud," he said, slightly embarrassed. Golf etiquette, he explained, called for quiet, hushed voices, like on television when the sports announcers whisper the scores for women at the LPGA.
So much for my golf date. He went on to sell pharmaceuticals and I went on to take them. I never played that kind of golf again, although you can find me at Magic Carpet Golf with some regularity once the heat dissipates.
As for tea times, I am always in favor of such fine social customs, as long as everyone is offered a sip from the same thin china cup.
Play through, warriors.
--By Hannah Glasston
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