Tag Archives: rules

The Phil Mickelson Caveat

18 Jun


The Phil Mickelson Caveat

By L. Stewart Marsden

As expected, sports news talking heads are all abobble about one of the two major take-always from the 2018 U.S. Open Golf Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Course this weekend in Southampton, NY.

An aside: Wonder why the nation is not equally outraged by the golf course’s logo? It never came up, somehow.

One has clearly drawn the serious attention away from the other. Phil’s desperate antics on the 13th (ironic, no?) hole in venting his day-long putting frustration by whacking his putted golf ball that was clearly going to end up (oh, who knows where?) drew the commentating from how the PGA screwed up again with an unholy course, already difficult, and made three times more difficult by shaving the grass from the greens.

At least for the moment. While spewing venom at the game’s most likable pro, greens keepers flooded the greens at the end of Round Three after Big Guy Dustin Johnson unceremoniously slipped the balding slopes from what looked like an insurmountable four-stroke lead of -4 to a share of the lead by day’s end at +3.

“Cheater!” cried the pompous PGA elders.

”Horrible precedence,” they added.

So, without due process, Mickelson was hung out to dry. If only he had taken a knee instead of stopping his hockey puck putt!

Did you know that duffers like me make mince-meat of the rules of golf on a regular basis?

Ever hear of the 10-inch rule? According to my brother, you can move your ball to any point within a 10-inch diameter to improve your lie. You won’t find that one in the book.

Ever hear of the Mulligan rule? Or the reincarnated Mulligan?

Ever hear of the “within the putter grip” rule?

The PGA has spent a lot of money trying to get golfers to follow the rules.

Actually, Phil DID follow the rules. Ask any defense lawyer. He gladly took the penalty.

Was it the right thing to do?

Well, if morality is going to enter the conversation, then let’s talk about DJ’s reported dalliances. And what about … TW? How quickly we forget and forgive. Don’t worry, plenty more scarlet letters where Phil’s “C” comes from.

Did you know it’s thought golf was actually a drinking game? At least, the winners were afforded drinking credits. And even that it was banned and against the law to play it? Look it up. It’s on the internet. Gotta be true.

Here’s what would be fair in terms of the controversy over Phil’s sin:

Make him play the remainder of the round, and the next five tournaments in which he plays, right-handed. Now that should be tantamount to cutting off his hands at the wrist. Except Phil is actually right-handed, and I’m sure would adjust. Then cut off one of his feet. “I’m still playing!” Okay, then –– cut off the other foot. “I’m still playing!”

You live by the rules … you die by the rules.

You might look at Phil’s action from a different perspective, however. Isn’t he really saying, I’ve done this that you may be free (of the rules)? Kind of a golfing savior for the rest of us golfing wannabes.

Back to the real problem this weekend: while there was some nasty satisfaction at watching the world’s best golfers get massacred by those gatling gun greens, it was also sad.

Please don’t ever do that again! Choose courses for The Open that are indeed challenging and have the respect of each golfer, but don’t make them impossible! I hated looking at the leaderboard this weekend. Don’t go back to Shinnecock Hills until they pledge to

  1. plant a few trees back,
  2. let the grass on the greens grow a bit.
  3. change their logo. How about a shield that has something representing a shin and something that represents a cock?

As it is currently, I’m sure most of the PGA golfers who played the course this weekend felt cuckolded –– by the course AND by the PGA.


A Place of Your Own

14 Oct

A Place of Your Own

by L. Stewart Marsden

The boy sat on his bed, angry.
His mom and dad drove him crazy with all they told him to do
Make your bed!
Clean up your room!
Brush your teeth!
Go to school!
Set the table!
Eat your spinach!
Take a bath!
Do your homework!
Go to bed!

When he complained, they told him

When you live in
a place of your own,
you can . . .
Leave your bed unmade . . .
Leave your room a mess . . .
Let your teeth all rot . . .
Never go to school . . .
Eat anywhere you like . . .
Have chips and sodas for dinner . . .
Stink to high heaven . . .
Let your brain rot . . .
And …
Stay up the entire night!


That didn’t sound so bad! And he said so.

Day and night, all he could think of was a place of his own.

One night, when the full moon filled the night sky, the boy grabbed his backpack filled with his important things*, climbed out the window and shimmied down the downspout to the ground.

It was late. No one was around.

He walked through the town.
He into the countryside.
The moon was the only light.
He walked quickly and thought about a place of his own to keep from being afraid.

Only once did he see anyone else.
A boy walking on the other side of the road, walking quickly in the other direction. The boy had a backpack, too.

They didn’t speak.

Soon the boy came to a road sign. “A Place of Your Own – 3 miles.”

He quickened his pace.

He came to a driveway that wound up a small mountain. A mailbox with “A Place of Your Own” stood beside the driveway. He could see a house with the lights still on at the top. He walked up the driveway.

The house was empty. It was neat and tidy. There was a big puffy chair in front of a television; a table and chair in the small kitchen; and a lumpy bed tucked in the corner.

The kitchen cabinets were full of great things to eat:

Popcorn and candy
Chips and cookies
Canned sodas and other soft drinks

And the refrigerator was full of

More sodas and soft drinks
Ice cream and pop sickles
chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

The book shelves were filled with comic books and all kinds of toys.

“This is heaven!”

And the boy lived just like he wanted:

He never made his bed,
He never cleaned the house,
He never brushed his teeth,
He never went to school,
He never ate at the table,
He never ate spinach,
He never took a bath,
He never did homework,
He never went to bed on time.

Life was great!

But little by little
the boy began to think about
Fresh sheets and a neat bed,
A tidy room,
White teeth and fresh breath,
Playtime at school with his friends,
A nice-looking dinner table,
Clean underarms,
Math problems,
believe it or not,
Going to bed.

So, he began to do make up his bed,
Pick up his things and put them away,
Brush his teeth,
Put everything away,
And finally …
He took a bath.

He got his backpack and all his important things, and left the house on the mountain, closing the door behind him — leaving the lights on.

He walked down the drive way and passed the mailbox by the light of the full moon.

He saw only one person along the way. A girl on the other side of the road going the other direction. The girl had a backpack, too. They didn’t speak.

At home, he climbed up the downspout to his window, hung his backpack up after putting his important things away, put on his pajamas and crawled into bed.

As he closed his eyes, he thought, “I can wait for a place of my own.”