Cheat. Lie. Intimidate. These are the true fundamentals of golf. If George W. Bush shoots a 7 on the par 5 9th hole and his playing partner Rex W. Tillerson the CEO of Exxon Mobil asks the President of the United States of America what he shot, George W. Bush says “Put me down for a 5.”
George W. Bush and Rex W. Tillerson are walking down the 10th fairway at the Cape Arundel Golf Club in Kennebunkport, Maine surrounded by 10 heavily armed secret service agents. What is Rex W. Tillerson supposed to say to George Bush? “No, I’m sorry Mr. President you shot a 7 on the last hole, not a 5?” By the time Rex got the words out he would be gunned down into the dirt. The secret service agents have been given their orders in advance.
Let’s say that Rex actually pointed out the President’s error to him and lived to talk about it. President Bush would merely break into song, with the vocally trained secret service agents as his back up singers singing “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.”
In 1921 renowned golf course architect Walter Travis redesigned the Cape Arundel Golf Course at 19 River Road, Kennebunkport, Maine, just down the road from the George Bush seaside compound. George Bush Sr. bought the beautiful home to keep up with the Kennedys. Walter Travis said of the Cape Arundel Golf Course he designed, “A really good golf course must abound in hazards, and good courses develop good players. Trees are non existent, as they should be, and the wind should always be an ever present factor on such a course. The greens are real beauties and will delight the soul of any real golfer.” This assumes that the golfer has a soul.
To make the course more challenging, Mr. Travis placed improvised explosive devices on several of the cart paths. He was a true visionary. It’s amazing how golfers tie their entire sense of self worth to the way they are hitting the golf ball.
Robert Trent Jones designed the Shady Oaks Golf Course in Fort Worth Texas, another Bush family favorite. Robert Trent Jones redesigned Augusta National in the late 1940’s. Robert Trent Jones believed that golf should be a no risk, no reward sport. His golf courses encouraged daring play.
Eminem wrote a song called “The Real Slim Shady” in which he says, “We aint nothing but mammals, well some of us cannibals who cut other people up like cantaloupes.” In “The Silence of the Lambs”, serial killer Buffalo Bill kidnaps and skins Kathy Martin, the daughter of Ruth Martin, the United States Senator from Tennessee. The famed forensic psychiatrist and serial killer cannibal Hannibal Lecter gives a riddle to young FBI agent Clarice Starling which leads Clarice to a rent a storage facility and the car of Benjamin Raspail, a former patient of Dr. Lecter. Hidden in the parked car is the severed head in a jar of Benjamin Raspail.
This was Dr. Lecter’s way of teaching his student to keep his head still on the backswing and the downswing until the swinging of the arms on the follow through brings the head up. It’s one thing to tell the average golfer to keep her head still. The fact is that a steady head is often the result of the movement of other body parts during the swing.
Twenty thousand American men and women so far have left their body parts in the sands of Babylon. Butch Harmon, the former coach of Tiger Woods recently taught Phil Mickelson that the way to keep his head still on the backswing and cure his overswing was to keep his right knee firm and flexed on the backswing instead of straightening it out.
Somehow Phil Mickelson won 30 PGA tournaments and 2 Masters at Augusta National straightening his right knee on the backswing and overswinging under the tutelage of his former coach Rick Smith. At least Rick Smith didn’t have Phil Mickelson hacking balls endlessly out of the rough at Oakmont in preparation H. for the U.S. Open until lefty developed chronic carpal syndrome and then sending him out to compete with one arm.
Christie Kerr recently won the U.S. Open golf tournament at Pine Needles by two shots over Lorena Ochoa and Angela Park. After her victory on the eighteenth green Christie Kerr ran over to her new husband Erik Stevens, jumped up on him, wrapped her arms around his neck, and her legs around his lower body, and hung there in suspension until all thoughts of Hale Irwin running around the green high fiving the gallery disappeared from the collective American consciousness.
There are many ways to begin the downswing with the lower body, most of which lead to disaster. Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear, recommends beginning the downswing by rolling the right ankle laterally and not allowing your head to ride forward. This is the secret to beginning the downswing properly, as it will drop your passive hands and arms to shoulder height from where you can then rotate your left forearm in a counter clockwise motion to the finish. However, George Bush says, “When you roll your right ankle laterally to begin the downswing, make sure that your right foot remains planted and no part of it comes off of the ground, otherwise you will slide and come over the top, and you will shank, like I did by invading Iraq. I’m very sorry. My fellow Americans and Jesus, please forgive me for I knew not what I was doing.”