If you do call yourself a runner, can you handle the truth?



From the Rage Archives

Truth is found through devotion,
and intensity is the only true measure of devotion.

Subject: Coping with Mr. Snowman (8) - Date: 17 Mar 00

Lee Trevino once said that you learn an awful lot about someone on a golf course. Sometimes, a hard dose of reality is more than one can take, the temptation of escaping The Truth too great…and out comes the 'ol foot wedge. Ah, yes…so what did you really shoot? But a more realistic test for Truth Seekers on the links (at least those who play my kind of game) is how you deal with Mr. Snowman or his evil cousin, Mr. UGLY Snowman at the worst possible time.

Now Mr. Snowman is an 8 that happens when you decide to go for the stick, put a good swing on it, hit it solid, got hosed by a bad bounce and absolutely had no choice but to try to play that shot out of the creek to stay in the match. Mr. UGLY Snowman is an 8 that typically starts out with a crooked drive and goes downhill from there. It is not one event on a hole but a series of events, each compounding on the last. We might hear an oak tree or two crying out in pain. We could even have an actual injury (yes, while playing golf) such as a pulled ham midway through one of those flails on the way to Mr. U.S. in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid your own ball that now has a big yellow stain on it. Let's face it. The only way to get your playing partners to quit chuckling about your noticeable limp over the next 16 holes is to start playing some golf, baby. It's at this point you have a big gut check which determines whether or not the next thing that comes out of your bag on the next tee is the Big Lumber or your car keys.

It's not much different than running Kong (Buck Mountain), which rises over 2,000 feet above the Willamette Valley floor northeast of Coburg. (see The Rage's diatribe on running hills). Running a good lower half of Kong is just like hitting a good drive. That swing lasted for 15 minutes and who knows what's coming out of my bag at the base of the big hills. In my mind, I visualize taking three metal over the top. But on most days, I chilly dip that bad boy about thirty yards up that very steep Willamette Industries company road, and further wasting that nice drive down below with some green-side chunking near the top just to remind me why I pump out emails for a living.

So if I am gonna make a Snowman on Kong, I try to make sure I avoid Mr. UGLY Snowman. With my wimpy length, the only chance on getting my parakeet calves to the top before Manciata and T-Bone is to hit driver-driver on the lower part and make those guys pay, hit three metal on the screws over the hills and hammer driver one more time on top. With any luck at all, I might hit three out of four of those shots and still be around to at least have the pleasure of hearing them sucking big air on the last turn to the black top. If I miss any of those shots, Kong will sentence me to 16 painful minutes of looking at Manciata's and T-Bone's butts.

It does not get any uglier than that. And that is The Truth, my friends.


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