Why spoil a nice walk with golf?

Golf got started in the Scottish Highlands. Men would walk for hours - up and down, round and round. But one day, someone had the bright idea of knocking a tiny white ball ahead of him as he walked. That person, who shall remain anonymous to protect his life, started what we now call golf.

A nice walk in stunning surroundings, apparently, was not enough for this masochist, he had to spoil it all by inventing, ugh, I can barely utter the word - golf! To this day, many pay homage to this masochist by actually visiting the site where all the craziness started! Why?

What he left for the rest of us is unspeakable frustration, low self-esteem and thousands of miles of spoiled "nice walks." You know, those nice walks in which we actually admire the swaying beauty of a hundred-year-old tree or the sighting of an occasional deer at dusk or a gentle breeze on a slightly warm day that stirs the leaves into a thousand fall colors. Or how about a meaningful conversation with someone we love? Or at least like a little?

Oh, no. None of that was enough for our intrepid masochist turned sadist. He had to invent golf and spoil the whole darn walk!

Now, what are we left with? A dozen or more long, metal sticks with large heads that weigh a hundred pounds. So heavy, in fact, we often have to hire someone to carry them. Or even more often, after fighting through traffic, we get out of our big cars and into little cars that transport the darn things as we squeeze into the front seat. Zoom, zoom. Hurry, hurry. We're terrified of holding up other little cars in back of us who want to play through - or is it drive through?

And then, after several hours, when all that nice walking has been spoiled or just completely forgotten, we have several drinks to forget.

"Oh, to forget. And leave the world unseen." I guess Keats golfed too.

But no. No. There is no way to forget the embarrassment, the sand, the lost balls, the sliced-up expensive grass, the horror, the horror, the horror. Now I know what Brando was babbling about in "Apocalypse Now."

Well, enough said. Some people just don't know how to have a good time. I'm talking about those damn Scots! There's no need to keep looking for the Loch Ness monster. We've seen it.

It's a golf ball.

- Bill Barre of Hinsdale is a contributing columnist. Readers can email him at [email protected].