Golfer? Sure. I bucketed a birdie and an eagle just last week


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For the record, I am not one of those people who always dreamed about honing his skills on the golf course after retiring.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/07/2022 (197 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For the record, I am not one of those people who always dreamed about honing his skills on the golf course after retiring.

No, I am one of those people who dreamed about perfecting his ability to relax on the couch in the den and lapse into a coma while watching hour after hour of the Weather Network.

The point is, even though I am now in a state of semi-retirement, I still get invited to participate in charity golf tournaments because I am the sort of person who is willing to accept free food and prizes for doing absolutely nothing.

ETHAN CAIRNS / FREE PRESS FILES If, by some pure stroke of luck, Doug does make contact with the ball, it will careen wildly into the trees like an injured woodland creature never to be seen again.

It is not easy, using mere words, to describe how horrible I am at the game of golf, but I am willing to give it the old columnist try: I am really, really horrible at golf! It would make more sense for me to buy a dozen golf balls, drive to the nearest course, then stand on the first tee and throw them into the woods without going to all the expense of shelling out for a cart and green fees.

It is not an exaggeration to say that, on a golf course, I am a danger to myself and those around me. Close your eyes right now and imagine the worst golfer you have ever seen in your life. Well, I am much worse than that guy.

Anyone who has ever seen me golf in person — and if you have I am sure that gaping head wound will heal any day now — knows that I am not exaggerating for comedic effect. Let’s put it this way — I am to golf what Donald Trump is to democracy or William Shatner is to understated acting.

Just to be clear, I do excel in certain areas of the game, such as the areas that involve tracking down the location of the person serving beer on the course, or telling lame jokes to my golfing companions.

My main problem involves the part of the game wherein you are expected to actually hit the little white ball. When it is my turn to hit the ball, I will coil my body up like a spring, swing the club with the same gravitational force as the space shuttle, thereby causing me to miss the ball by roughly two feet and spin around uncontrollably, creating enough wind to cause the ball to fall of the tee and trickle several inches away.

If, by some pure stroke of luck, I do make contact with the ball, it will careen wildly into the trees like an injured woodland creature never to be seen again.

This is the remarkable skill I put on display two weeks ago when I played on the Free Press team at the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation tournament at Southwood Golf Course, and earlier this week when I represented Riverview Health Centre Foundation, where I am a board member, at the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Alumni tournament at Glendale Golf Course.

What with being a hardcore football fan, I was pretty excited to tee it up at the Bomber alumni tournament because, almost everywhere you looked on the course, you would see extremely large men drinking cold beer and eating the complementary snack items they served on almost every hole.

Another thing they had on some of the holes were extremely energetic members of the Blue Bombers cheer squad, who were apparently required to cheer their hearts out every time one of the golfers attempted to hit the ball.

This was not a problem for my Riverview playing partners — Gord Miles and Doug McCartney — who were able to hit the ball vast distances regardless of who was watching. I personally am more comfortable playing the game in a vacuum, such as outer space, where no one can hear me scream if I tear a muscle trying to open a bag of chips.

What happened this week is that I unleashed my mighty swing, causing the ball to skitter away and vanish into the undergrowth, thereby triggering the following uplifting reaction from the energetic cheerleaders: “HURRAY!!! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!”

With their cheers ringing in my ears, I bravely feigned an injury and slunk away to hide in our golf cart. But, and this is not easy to admit, the cheerleaders were far from the only hazard I faced while golfing in support of this worthy organization.

Once the game was over, all of the teams on the course raced to the nearest washroom to — how can I phrase this in a family newspaper — freshen up before heading into the dining room to eat and, hopefully, win some wonderful prizes.

So there I was, perspiring like a turkey on Thanksgiving, waiting patiently for my chance to use the facilities in the men’s room, when suddenly a gap opened in the lineup and I was able to sprint forward with all the grace of a kick returner trying to elude an onslaught of angry opponents.

Unfortunately, in doing this, I accidentally usurped the position of a member of the Bomber alumni, a former all-pro defensive end who is roughly the same size as the Richardson Building and who had been patiently waiting his opportunity until I unwittingly stole his spot in the queue.

You will not be surprised to learn that, when I sensed his steely-eyed glaze, I began earnestly apologizing with all the sincerity I could muster, which caused this hulking retired superstar to laugh, pat me on the back, and loudly promise not to squash me like a grape.

The point I am trying to make is, despite my complete lack of skill, I am determined to continue golfing for charitable organizations that need my special skills. I hope to see you on the course soon. I’ll be the sweaty guy standing on the first tee throwing a bucket of balls into the woods.

Doug Speirs

Doug Speirs

Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.

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