|Even with a shaky short game, God presented a formidable challenge on the golf course. (.)|
The Word came just as the world's attention was consumed by the latest hit in the Paris Hilton-Snoop Dogg armed-robbery spree (a liquor store in Milan, this time). God spoke to His creation, and He wanted to golf against them.
The ensuing cowering, offering, wailing and gnashing of teeth took a week to die down, after which one brave soul finally piped up with a relevant question: "So. You're here to golf?"
"Yes!" the Lord shouted (an impressive sound, to say the least). "I see a beautiful game that needs a competitive jump-start. I will play one special PGA Tour event in the United States.
"That is why I am here. To golf."
That was the last anyone heard from God for three weeks, the time it took for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to process His work-visa application. It gave billions around the world time to think the whole thing through. Was God speaking metaphorically? Was He trying to send a deeper message?
"I am not speaking metaphorically. I am not trying to send a deeper message," God said as He began preparations for the Microsoft Invitational (you wouldn't believe what Gates paid for the naming rights).
Still, the presence of an all-powerful deity walking amongst us was too much for many to process. The initial response was a flood of hastily penned essays, newspaper columns and blogs by politicians, journalists and celebrities, all on the general theme of, "Um, sorry. Really. I was so wrong."
Eventually, though, the world came together as one in recognition of this unique opportunity. Great thinkers from around the globe met to discuss what to ask the Lord to achieve maximum enlightenment and show how much we all thought of this chance to engage Him.
Upon receiving the question (which was "Wow. You know? Just wow."), God delivered an edict which left a confused humanity even more confused.
"I will only be accepting golf-related questions," He said. "And none of these tricky two-parters, like 'What brand of driver do you use? And what's the meaning of life?'"
"Seriously. Just golf, people," added God's personal secretary and swing coach, Zach Johnson.
Thus chastised, an obedient world turned its eyes to the Lord's golf game. It was good. Real good. But how good? While the Lord would regularly break 70 and was ridiculously solid off the tee and out of sand traps, His putting was disconcertingly shaky.
"If He can't putt, we're screwed," wrote one foolish newspaper, which was quickly smote down in a rain of meteors.
The Lord had indeed brought His "A" game, stringing together two 68s and a 71 to take the lead into Sunday. But the leaderboard was tight, with Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh a shot back and Tiger Woods just two down and poised to strike.
"Is this awesome or what?" God said after the third round. "And can't putt? Who said I can't putt? You see the scores. Oh, there will be a reckoning, I tell you."
Woods started off in a final-round funk and fell five shots behind by the turn. With each additional bogey he got more irate, cursing his play. "Dude, you gotta cut that out," God whispered to Tiger on the 10th. Seemingly rejuvenated, Woods birdied four of the next five holes.
The Lord denied any favoritism, but that did not deter subsequent scholarly interest in what came to be called the Singh Dispensation. God was unnervingly complimentary to the Fijian, often referring to him as "My man Vij," as in, "Hey, enough about me, did you see My man Vij out there today?"
(Of course, many scholars countered that God was equally friendly with Steve Flesch, who had been added as a late substitute. "Where's My boy Fleschy?" He was fond of saying.)
However it came to be, the round ended in a four-way tie - Tiger, Vijay, Lefty and God. The first playoff hole was a par 3 that saw Tiger and Vijay play within 20 feet of the cup. God was next, and by the time His shot finished rolling it was but two inches from the flag.
The crowd erupted into hysterics. It appeared certain the Lord would prevail.
It was 10 minutes before calm was restored and Mickelson could tee up. His shot bounced once and rolled toward the cup. When it glanced off the Lord's ball and into the hole for what sportswriters would call "the ace we dare not speak of," the silence was nearly terrifying. No one was quite sure what to make of it.
The Lord himself defused the situation with the humor that had endeared him to billions. "Wow, how about that?" God spake. "Well, hey, all glory to Me, right?"
The crowd erupted as one.
"Hey, I told you I was better than Him all along," Mickelson said afterward, quickly adding, "I mean, praise His name and all."
Walking back to His Toyota Prius, God stopped to sign some autographs and waved good-bye to all before returning to His heavenly abode. "See if you can keep the ratings up," he reportedly told Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem as He drove off into the sunset.
April 17, 2007
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
Forget all the lessons you took from golf pros. Forget the straight left arm, proper posture, head still, full shoulder turn, pronate, supinate, belt buckle to target, complete follow through, right elbow in pocket and the zillion other things some guy charged you $40 a half hour to remember. There are only two lessons you'll need in order to be a good golfer.
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