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Welcome to the second edition of Murphy’s Law, where if variety is the spice of life, it gets no spicier for the golfer than the varied players you get paired up with at your local course.


LAW •••


Golfer No. 1: MODERN EQUIPMENT PLAYER Scientifi c name: Spenda lotta Brief description: If any club in his bag is older than two


months, he considers it a failure of himself. His round doesn’t begin until he chooses from one of seven putters assembled on display on the putting green, each tumbled off the pages of the latest Golf Digest. When he sees Dustin Johnson win Maui, he buys TaylorMade’s RocketBallz driver. When he sees Tiger win at Doral, he


buys the Nike Covert driver. When he realizes Tiger doesn’t play the Nike Covert driver, he gets fl ummoxed, and returns to the RocketBallz, angry that there isn’t anything newer. Sample quote: (peering into your golf bag) “You serious about playing that Callaway RAZR Fit? Bro, that is so 2012.” •••


Golfer No. 2: NO FRILLS PLAYER Scientifi c name: Traditionalsoarus Brief description: Her metal spikes sit in the trunk of her car, waiting for a muni that doesn’t ban them. Considers the


72 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2013 IT’S A GRAB BAG OF FATE, FRIENDS. You could wind


up with a player who, by the time you make the turn, is your long-lost golf soul mate—a funny, easygoing, breezy conversationalist who treats the fi ckle hand of golf fate with equanimity and grace, making for a delightful afternoon. Or, you could draw That Guy. You


know the kind of person I’m talking about. We need not elaborate. But with golf season in full swing, and with the varied personalities of the PGA Tour gracing our TVs on week- ends—from the smoldering intensity of


a Tiger Woods to the goofy unpredict- ability of a Phil Mickelson to the plaid- pants eccentricity of an Ian Poulter to the fl at-billed and bellied youth of a Rickie Fowler—perhaps it’s time we examined the varied species of Golfer Recreationus in a deeper, scientifi c light. Forthwith are the fi ve most common duffers found on planet Earth:


MURPHY’S


crunching sound of her spikes on the parking lot concrete as sweet a sound as Tom Watson puring an iron at the 1977 British Open. Still plays the same putter with which she won her high school league champi- onship. Hasn’t updated her irons since the Bill Clinton Administration, because she’s a single-digit index, and doesn’t need to. Looks at “Modern Equipment Guy” as an Indian ever in search of a new arrow, when the Indian should consider fi x- ing his golf swing instead. Sample quote: “You’re still away,


$500 Putter Boy.” •••


Golfer No. 3: PARTY PLAYER Scientifi c name: Swingus oilus Brief description: Arrives at fi rst tee with clear plastic bag


containing six-pack and ice, joyously placed in back of golf cart. Considers the “hiss-crack” of a beer can opening as sweet a sound as a well-struck iron. Begins actively searching for the beer cart by the sixth hole. Tips generously. Rarely putts out, or spends more than 30 seconds looking for a lost ball. Sample quote: “Yardage to the green? Hell if I know. But


I do know there’s a cart girl up behind the green, so fi re away when ready.” •••


Golfer No. 4: SHARK PLAYER Scientifi c name: Match play killerus Brief description: Wears blue jeans. Eschews traditional golf


look, can sometimes wear untucked shirt even, or grow hair past neck. Plays at scruffy munis. Would never set foot on country club ground, unless his buddy the caddy arranges something on a Monday, when members aren’t around. Makes every putt he looks at. Chips it close, often. Having suckered you into back- nine bet, will escape from every trouble spot in devastatingly effective fashion, blowing your mind with his imagination and homemade swing. Sample quote: “We have a weekly Skins game here on Thursdays. . .if you’re interested.” •••


Golfer No. 5: VETERAN MARKSMAN PLAYER Scientifi c name: Cardigan sweaterus Brief description: Generally over the age of 60, and gener-


ally will beat anybody, anywhere, anytime through sheer dogged mindset and placid determination. Old enough to know Tiger Woods didn’t invent the game, and still considers Jack Nicklaus the greatest winner and Ben Hogan the greatest shotmaker golf has ever known. Won’t drive it more than 210 yards off the tee, but also won’t miss a fairway. Won’t make every putt he looks at, but


also won’t three-putt. Considers the value of a quiet Saturday morning, spirited competition and post-round chat over a whisky in the clubhouse grillroom the essence of a well-lived life. Sample quote: “Beautiful golf shot, partner. Well-played.” •••


You’re in here somewhere, dear reader. And if you aspire to


be one of these players, just use this handy-dandy guide to self- improvement, and thank me later.


BRIAN MURPHY hosts the KNBR morning show “Murph and Mac” and was the San Francisco Chronicle’s golf writer from 2001-2004.


IAN POULTER PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES SPORT, ANDREW REDINGTON TOM WATSON PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES SPORT, DARREN CARROLL


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