Thursday, June 23, 2005

All right, back to something about golf.

Hello, my name is Sigmund Freud (pronounced ZIG-mund Froid you silly American cunnigets) and I vant to talk to you today about--YOUR MOTHER!

Vas she a strong voman? Did she tell you when you could or couldn't poop? Ja? Ist eine true?
Now answer me this--are you having trouble with your golf game, hmm? Can you not hit zee little vhite ball around the green golf course and into zee hole? No? Then come and sit on my sofa so that I might pick your brain.

That's it, relax. Breathe deeply. Let go.

Now, I am going to say a vord or phrase and you shout out vhat ever comes into your little filthy mind. Okay, mein cunniget? Here vee go:


I'll say it again.


Listen, you've got to say what ever comes into your crazy head. Ja? Vhitout your cooperation, I cannot free you from your neurosis. Trust me, I know you'll do fntastic, as my good friend Arnold Schwarzeneeger says.

Again. Donkey....?

Obviously, you don't want to cooperate. You say you want to talk about your lack of golfing skill? Fine, it's your dime.

Now, your mother vas a tyrant, was she not? A castrating tyrant? It's fine to say so, everyone's mother vas a tyrant. What you've got to do is free yourself from her controlling ways, which, through no fault of your own, you have internalized. Ja, your mommie is dead and in zee ground, but she still controls you.

Free yourself! Fly like the free bird that your are! Fly, damn you, fly!

Why don't you fly? What? You thought I was Dr. Coop?

You stupid little pooper! Do I look like a white guy? I'm Jewish you idiot--I don't GOLF! Get out of my office.
....and don't kid yourself, you're paying for this visit. I could have been scoring chicks with Jung down at the club instead of wasting time vit you. Here's how it works. I do the talking, Carl here--

has the body, and the come to us.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dr. Wayne Dyer--A Charlatan for Our Time

Wayne Dyer, venerable self-help guru who gets major airtime on PBS during fund drives, should be avoided at all costs. If you really want to get to the bottom of his weltanshauung, or world view (isn't German the best?) take a look at his website.

Did you notice it? That's right, his website is a clearinghouse for the Wayne Dyer Product Line. He sells 20 different books on how to make yourself happy. Just look at the Power of Intention product line: there's the flip calendar, the cards, the hardcover, and lastly, the 4 cd set--all right there on the main page, just begging to be bought.

Head over to this religious organization, or maybe this one, or even here, and look at their front pages. See any difference? Yes, you got it: none of these organizations are hitting you up for cash from the get-go. Now I know Dr. Wayne doesn't claim to be a religious organization, but what he teaches, er, I mean sells, is religious (though he might object to the pedestrian term "religious", which he's grown beyond--he's spiritual). A good test for the authenticity of religious or spiritual teachings or organizations is at what point they ask you, the seeker, for money. All religious organizations need money to operate, but if they ask for cash during your first meeting at their church/synagogue/mosque/temple/website, you should turn and leave. And that's exactly what you should do with Dr. Wayne.

Look out for Dr. Wayne's next astounding book: How I Made Millions Spouting Quasi-Religious Drivel to a Depressed and Maleable Public, and How You Can Too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

US Open at Pinehurst.

You know what I'd like to see? I'd love to see Phil Mickelson and Vijay Sighn--or "Veej", as he's known to me and all his good buds--go at it mano-a-mano. Who do you think would win? They're both big guys, so it would be an epic fight. Veej might know some kind of special fighting technique from Fiji. In fact, that blue ball he's holding may be a war version of a coconut--a battle coconut. Veej probably learned the coconut fighting technique when he learned to defend himself from jocks in Fiji. Phil and the other hand went to college at Arizona State, so he probably knows how to throw his weight around in a bar amidst lots of drunk frat dudes. I'll give the edge to Philly.

Another good fight would be Tiger Woods and Fred Funk. Tiger thinks he's tough, but an old man like Funk would surprise him. Wouldn't that be great if Tiger tried to start shit with Fred and Fred popped him real quick in the nose, and Tiger's like, "Mother fucker--that hurt. Steve, drop the bag and kick his ass." "Duh, okay boss, okay. I'll hit him real good, I will make fall onto his back." Steve lunges at Fred, but he pulls a few moves this guy, and puts Stevie down for the count. C'mon, Tiger is such a pathetic show-off, that he's just begging for it. The universe is begging for it--balance must be restored!

In any event, here's how their fight might play out.
Anyway, if any of this came to pass, at least we'd have something to talk about other than a bunch of golf pros complaining about bowl-shaped greens and false fronts.

Disclaimer: Wounded Duck (c), its subsidiaries and corporate officers do not, nor ever shall, endorse violence in golf or any of the "stick and ball" sports, i.e., tennis, baseball, hockey, hai-alai, lacross, stickball, and toru-bungo (a game played in the Chimbu province of Papau New Guinea with whale rib bones and boiled chicken heads.) However, any sport classified as "foot and ball" is free to bathe in as much competitors blood as possible.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The joy of using used

Why do guys buy new clubs? The only clubs I've ever bought new were two Cleveland wedges. It was at least ten years ago, and I regretted the decision only after I discovered Roger Dunn Golf (this site links to Roger Dunn and a few other retailers in the Cal and the Southwest--sorry Mid-West and East Coasters.) Unlike cars, which truly depreciate after use, golf clubs, excpet for maybe softer forged blades, never actaully degrade. Sure, they depreciate because the brainwashed mass of golfers think this year's model is markedly superior to any other year's model, but that doesn't mean any year's model is less effective. You retirees and those with a little more disposable cash than me might ask, "Why should I buy clubs that have been de-flowered previously by a stranger?" Good point.

If you're in your twilight years and want to splurge on yourself, why not? I would. If you're rich and figure, "I've worked hard and earned these new, shiny clubs!" again I say, go for it. The only question worth asking is, "What will these new clubs get you?" I know single-digit handicappers who still play PING Eye 2s. Are you really going to play better with the newest of the new? To be honest, I have no idea. I can easily imagine that if and when I have enough extra income to buy new clubs I will. If you go to the PING website and ask the following:

Question: Which PING model is more forgiving?
Answer: The new G2 irons are the most forgiving PING iron ever made. Prior to the G2 Series, the ISI-K was most forgiving, followed closely by the Zing2. (Note from Wounded Duck: because PING says the Zing 2 is the result of asthetic improvements to the original Zing, you can also consider Zings are very forgiving.)

So, the real question to ask is: what do you really need to play your best? Not: what clubs do I need to feel good about myself or my retirement. Then again, you have to accept my contention that golf is played exclusively for the chance to improve, and not, for instance, companionship or comraderie. If you play golf in order to one-up your buddies with new equipment, then by all means, go buy whatever you want. Just remember, if you're playing for score, you don't have to buy the latest, greatest.

In conclusion, here is an artist's rendering of a supernova:

and Chevy's rendition:

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Jobs, time, life, and golf--a winning combination!

Wounded Duck just got a new job--what a hap-hap-happy day! Good-bye temp jobs, hello benefits. Problem is, the new job is going to be a real time hole. It's in television production, and the hours will be longggggggg, which means golf is about to be de-prioitized. The loss of golf time is not a tragedy in and of itself (if I play three times a month I start feeling life a range rat, so my golf threshhold is low) but what is a tragedy is that I just re-re-re-figured out my swing. And, hold on to your butts, I found my swing while carpet swinging. I know, I know. But it does go to the meta-point of these writings that you have to be willing to realize that you never get to own your swing, you only rent it from time to time. Same goes for golf swing advice--sometimes it works and is brilliant, and sometimes it doesn't work and is brilliant

Image courtesy of

So I don't want to lose my re-re-re-discovered swing. How am I going to maintain it? Attention! That's right, I'm going to maintain attention on the progress I have made and hopefully whatever winning sensation I have of my swing will hang around for a while.

But if I do lose the winning sensation, there will be no worries because I know it'll be right around the corner--sometime, somewhere.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vintage my ass.

Over the weekend I played golf as a single and got paired with a Chinese guy, Paul, who spoke little English. Trying to bridge the language gap, we managed to find common ground in the topic of my clubs, my PING Zings. Paul said he onced owned PINGs and that mine were a wonderful "vintage" set. Vintage? They're only 15 years old. I could buy the vintage status of my clubs if perhaps they had something like "Al Geiberger" or "Gene Sarazen" stamped into them or even if they were Eye 2s. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the whole thing, maybe Paul thought "vintage" meant not-so-old-but-I-respect-your-commitment-to-a-classic-set? Wait--did I just say "classic"? Oh, who am I kidding--he knew 10 words of English and probably went out of his way to include "vintage" in his vocabulary just to chide guys like me who never trade-in and trade-up. But I suppose it shouldn't be surprising he felt as he did, what with the way clubs are marketed. Golfers have somehow been convinced that a 3 year old driver is woefully obsolete when compared to this year's model. What's the difference between a 260 yard drive and a 270 yard drive?

Have I lost my mind? I need the extra 7.3 yards per drive of the Taylor Made R4. Cash in the college fund honey, papa needs a new club.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Ditch clubs, get thee to a theater.

Do yourself a huge favor--take next Saturday off from golf. Grab your significant other, and run to the nearest movie theater and watch Mad Hot Ballroom. The film is more entertaining than any 5 of Woody Allens' last movies, all 3 of the Star Wars prequels and all but 2 episodes of the last season of the Simpsons.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Outside the box? I don't need no stinking box!

Good golf, and for that matter , good life, good everything, comes in large part from losing your preconceptions, such as "Golf should be played like I see on T.V.," or "I as a golfer should make no bad shots," or "I as a person should be thus and such." Golf shouldn't be anything. Golf is simply the process of swinging the club. If you add anything more to the equation, you're doomed to disappoinment. Relax, I'm not preaching nihilism.

But, golf is hardly the only area of life where this approach applies. Take movies. The big studios in Hollywood make 99% of their films from a conventional preconception about what movies audiences want to see. Ergo, the Summer Blockbuster. To combat this, might I recommend an unconventional movie, The American Astronaut. I won't pontificate now on why I think this film is worthy of widespread viewing, since I don't want to fill your head with unnecessary--yes, that's right--preconceptions. However, you'll never look at sand the same way again.

Dear PING, tell me again--how forgiving?

Almost a year ago, venerable club geniuses PING released, as you undoubtedly have heard, a new iron called the G2. They say it's their most forgiving club ever. I'll make an off-hand observation, since I'm not an engineer (in fact, my math education stopped at the quadratic equation: F.O.I.L. (mnuemonically stated--First Outside Inside Last) which is used to calculate I-have-no-idea-what) and can't delve into M.O.I., C.G., torque, and what-not. Okay, I am qualified to comment on what-not, as during my last stint of unemployement I submitted a paper to the National Academy of Sciences on the typology and primogeniterology of what-not (not yet published) but I digress.

The G2 doesn't look like PING's previous line of irons, the bulbous Zing-ISI generations (herein referred to Z-I), which PING claimed were their most forgiving line of clubs. Firstly, the G2 looks nothing like the Z-I--no stainless steel tumors, now weird flanges, no Star Wars-esque rounded edges (can you picture Obi-Wan playing anything but PINGs?)

I am a long time player of Zings, so I just had to try the G2s for myself. So, I went down to my local Ping fitting center, a.k.a. the perpetually burnt/tanned/winded pro at the nearest driving range. Al is his name and he was a patient man. My wife and I (and no, we're a nerdly couple who have to play golf together or wear matching Ford windbreakers--for unknown reasons, she wanted to come along) spent over an hour with him. Naturally, I threw him a ten-spot as a tip when we finished, and he was so grateful, I feared he might asked us to be his son's godparents. So please remember to tip your service-industry professionals. When in doubt, tip--it's what separates us from the animals. I'd never been fitted before, and it was eye-opening. Firstly, and in contradiction to my long-held notions about myself as a golfer, I learned I'm not a black dot. I'm a green dot. Green! So, in the span of, oh, 12 seconds, I went from thinking black was cool, to thinking green is the color of victory. Easy enough transition. But the ball flight, my God, the ball flight! Straight, not too high, and did I say straight? Now, I'm not one to "work" the ball; in fact, it's usually me who's getting worked by it.

Hold on. I don't like the term "work." It implies a job, like working on an Excel spreadsheet. So from now on I'm going to call it... "playing" the ball? No, that sounds like I'm in a sandbox with the other kids burying my hand and then slowly freeing it from its sandy tomb, pretending it's a zombie hand. How about "curving"? No, that doesn't imply insider status--golf terminology should be esoteric. "Turning"? No. "Bending"?. Worse. "Deflect"? Horrible. "Arch"? Not bad. "Warp"? Getting closer. "Veer"? Not there yet. "Pervert"? Hold on. Again. "Pervert." That's it. Pervert the shot.

Now, as I was saying, I've never been one to try and pervert shots. Most times I'm happy to get the ball started in the correct general direction. But these G2s just made straight shot after straight shot. It's very gratifying. I know what you "players" out there are thinking. You're thinking "White or wheat with my eggs," because you sure as hell aren't reading this post. If you've never been a PING guy, and always thought their club's shape indicated their most likely use was to hoe weeds between rows of corn (or maize, if you will), the G2s look a lot more like what the resides in the collective psyche as "golf club." So give them a shot. Most courses or ranges that offer PING fitting allow you to apply the cost of the fitting towards purchase of clubs. These irons might one day make me confident enough to pervert shots at will.

Coming soon: Review of G2 woods and HL irons.