Sunday, July 08, 2018

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy (revisited)

What I don't know about golf

By Julie Carter

I've learned to do a long list of jobs since becoming associated with news writing.

Small newspapers require "Girl (or guy) Friday" kind of employment and everyone does many jobs to get the newspaper to the newsstand.

A new and recent jewel in my crown is photographing golf. The sports editor went on vacation and yours truly was drafted to shoot golf tournament photos.

I'm willing, but not sure if I'm able. Surely it will add to my sports photography resume that covers basketball, football, volleyball, track, rodeo and political races.

The sports guy and I made a little practice run before he disappeared off into the California sun. Crash course is a better description.

If you know Todd, you know he rattled off the particulars of the sport at warp speed like he thought I was going to remember it all AND recall how to find four or five particular golfers in a "pasture" stocked with 75 guys in khakis and polo shirts.

He herded the golf cart down the winding paths like a NASCAR driver, pointing at green spots between little hills, peering right, left and back to find a certain golfer. All this while waving a little golf course map in my face assuring me it was not a hard assignment.

I was holding on to the cart, my camera and my concern for my safety as trees flashed by. We met other carts and the rapid U-turns indicated we were headed the wrong direction. Like I would know.

I'm certain none of this is out of the ordinary if this is your world. For me, it was a foreign land.

Mark Twain said, "Golf is a good walk spoiled." I know now why I've never heard anyone say, "Hey, let's go watch golf."

If you are a golfer, you love the sport. If you are not a golfer, you will yawn. But be sure and do it quietly. Even TV golf teaches the protocol is to be very, very quiet, as indicated by the wimpy little "golf clap" that is eventually allowed.

I'm a rowdy sport kind of girl. I like sports where, as a spectator, you can cheer, yell and holler a little to release some exuberance for what is happening on the field, track, floor or arena. If I spent very much time on the greens, I'd undoubtedly be asked to leave.

Bogeys, birdies, putts, tees, par, chip shots, in the rough, on the green, fairway --all a foreign language to me. Fortunately, I don't have to write it, just quietly and unobtrusively take pictures. Watch for me on "America's Most Un-wanted" after I've been escorted from the premises for forgetting not to cheer.

There are some similarities to this sport and my cowboy world of roping and rodeo.

Both use handicaps to give the less skilled competitors a better a chance. It brings in more entry fees for the really good guys to win a bigger pot. It just isn't polite to call it what it really is -- "Sucker, come donate your money."

Both have tours, pro's, am's, champions and hot shots with big egos.

Even the name of one of the tournaments in town, Tight Lies Tour, could just as easily be announcing a team roping event.

I know where to stand, sit or hide when I'm taking pictures at a rodeo, roping or on the ranch. It is basic instinct for me to not get hurt by the livestock, the action of the event or an irritated competitor.

I've never been whipped with a catch rope. I just hope I can always say the same about a golf club.

© Julie Carter 2006

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