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My Take
Words That Should be Abolished from Golf

This is an editorial, an opinion. I would be happy to receive reasonable comments or differing opinions, and will even be happy to change my opinion, or at least post the differing opinion, if reasonable enough -- but of course that will be in my opinion too... heh heh heh smile

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Whether you call them golf sayings, golf expressions, golf slang, or whatever, there are a few words, phrases or abbreviations that should be abolished from the golf lexicon. The reasons for the proposed abolishment are lack of taste, disrespect, moronic derivation or insufferable idiocy.

Note: I'm not talking about swearing; that is in excellent taste compared to what I'm referring to here.

All sports have their general vibe. Golf is a game with tradition, manners, etiquette, etc. It has a certain cultivated air about it, which is an important aspect of its charm, to some. And no matter what your level of culture, that charm is available to you when participating in the game, for the small price of having a modicum of class. And though you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear you would certainly be well-advised to avoid sow's ears if trying to make a purse... or, something like that [ahem].

By way of a (hopefully) better analogy than purses and ears, if you were a chess aficionado, for instance, and had a high opinion of and respect for your game, you might not want other chess players to refer to their, or your, strategy as "the gnarly belch gambit", etc. This golf term issue is somewhat similar.

Without further ado, let me introduce (hopefully for the last time ever) my candidates for deletion.

"Hit it, Alice!" This expression disrespectfully ridicules a player for leaving a putt or chip short, and doubly disrespectfully implies that leaving it short is effeminate -- closely akin to the equally offensive, "Does your wife play too?" which, of course, also needs abolishing.

Both of the above expressions would very likely be accompanied by a vigorous knee slap and an optional boisterous "Yuck, yuck, yuck." Do you know anyone like this? Are you this person? Does this or does this not scream teenage boy?

Next, "Even God can't hit a one iron." This irreverent expression emphasizes the fact that a one iron is difficult to hit well, especially without a tee, and requires a high level of precision and fairly high club head speed to achieve any meaningful result. Witness the fact that one irons have pretty much disappeared from the face of the earth. But even though it could simply be considered an exaggeration, the expression is still in poor taste. (Note: Technically, it has not been verified that God has a body or, if so, even plays golf. But if He/She does -- given the whole "Universe" thing -- I would put my money on His/Her ability to hit a one iron*.

* I doubt that we would find a 5 wood in God's bag. [chuckle ]

And my pick for the all-time display of total idiocy... is "KP."

This abbreviation, believe it or not, seems to stand for "Closest to the pin" and refers to the volunteer position in a typical charity tournament where the tee shots on a par 3 are measured and the closest ball to the hole gets some kind of a prize. I assume that there is some sort of relationship being implied between this activity and "Kitchen Patrol", a military term meaning kitchen duty with the common abbreviation KP. Not only is there the obvious spelling issue (maybe that is thought to be "cute"), but I can come up with no connection between kitchen duty and measuring how far balls are from the pin. Since in the military KP is ostensibly thought of as degrading or as a punishment, for it to make sense in a golf tournament volunteer context it would have to be degrading or a punishment, right? The closest to the pin duty is no worse than any of the other menial and thankless tasks that honorable volunteers perform at golf tournaments.

If I didn't realize that it had originated too long ago, I would suspect the cartoon character, Butthead, of being responsible for this expression. I shudder to imagine where it might have come from.

But perhaps it is me who is displaying the idiocy. I'm willing to admit that possibility. If there is someone out there who authoritatively knows the derivation of this apparently off-the-scale-of-ineptitude expression, or can shed a bit of light on the subject, please contact me to give me an earful -- or an eyeful, I guess, in this case -- and set me good 'n straight. But until that happens, and I come back and recant the above and post new enlightening material singing the praises of the term KP, let's assume that I'm correct and stop using the phrase. How about we call it CP, if we have to abbreviate?

Lastly, we should try to put a stop to the notion that the word golf comes from the first letter of each word in the phrase Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden. From what I have read it is most likely not the case (see the origin of the word golf in the "Ask the Pro" section). Though, maybe it's a Da Vinci Code, Indiana Jones, Illuminati kind of thing, and "they" just want us to believe that's not where the word came from... and since I just tried to put a stop to it maybe I am one of "them!"

Anyway, I have not been very thorough with my short list above of terms or phrases to abolish from golf (or at the very least make using them a two stroke penalty for players -- ejection from the premises for non-players), but that is a few of them. Do you have any words or phrases that you would like to see eliminated from golf? Let me know, if so, and at some point if I get some good ones I'll include them.

I'll have another topic to mull over in the future. Again, in the words of comedian Dennis Miller, "that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

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