America's Newest Sport...
by EARL PRATT
Vol. 2 No. 11, February 1958
THESE TWO VERY ardent,
very expert lovers were locked in a close preliminary embrace when the
male half of the team happened to look out the motel window to see a happy
foursome putting out on the eighteenth green of the adjoining golf course.
Looking down at his partner, he sighed and murmured, "Just think, darling!
If we weren't so confoundedly busy in this bedroom, we could have shot
thirty-six holes today."
Let's face it--this character was a real gone golf-nut--and
there are millions like him in America today who find it impossible to
fit their favorite indoor and outdoor sports into a busy schedule. It is
in answer to such mounting frustration and confusion that your Old Pro
has devised a fusion of bath games that will enable the golf-loving males
and females of our fair land to bring the joys of golf into the bedroom
with them, even while leaving their golf bags in the hall closet.
This development is, of course, primarily for the
weekend sportsman, the more or less casual amateur, not for the big-time
professional who must engage in the game, or games, with the deepest concentration
and application merely to earn a living. A psychiatrist friend once said,
"Golf, like love, tones up body and mind alike, but the amount should be
regulated to fit the tolerance of the player."
By bringing the fairway, to say nothing of the rough,
traps and putting green, into the bedroom, we enable the bewildered amateur,
torn between the two games, to enjoy the best of both simultaneously as
long as he doesn't try to keep score. Let him leave the scorecard out in
the living room for best results--let him, or her, merely experiment, trying
different shots and thus keeping good and loose.
This is the game I play with my wife (she is a very
fine player by the way) and a number of our close friends of both sexes.
My feeling is that if our frustrated lover-golfers would follow our example
for a while, they would not only feel less crotchety, nervous and short
tempered--but would find their games, in the bed room as on the links,
It is not my intention to suggest that all weekend
golfer-lovers who don't play bedroom golf are psychiatric cases. Most of
them are perfectly normal except when confronted by the inevitable decision
on whether to spend Saturday and Sunday in bed or on the links. It is the
dithering exceptions I hope to get through to. People should play to relax,
except for pros like your author--but not all of them are able to attain
ease either on the links or in the bedroom.
I'm talking about those unfortunates who play so
aggressively that they wear themselves out, and then go home and make their
wives and children miserable--the characters who sulk and mutter and stew
for days over a missed hole.
And, of course, there are the hopeless gamblers,
the men and women who cannot undertake a gambol with out making a bet on
every hole they play, simply because they believe themselves to be experts.
The sole salvation for this type of amateur who falls into this kind of
trap is either to quit altogether or to play the game following my no-score
scheme. If a man or woman must gamble as well as gambol on the game, the
bets should go down not on their own question able talent for it, but on
the talent of someone else--preferably a pro.
Of course, in bedroom-golf, there is a vast difference
between the gambler and the neophyte. Frankly, it is perfectly okay to
keep score when you're just learning to play. It's a great feeling to start
from scratch and measure your improvement as you go along, and only by
keeping score can you keep track. For this purpose, a billiard marker is
recommended, on which your record is kept. In more advanced cases, where
a tally is still used, the abacus is recommended.
Actually, I know few neophytes who get to raving
and ranting and tossing their equipment wildly around the room. Such behavior,
mercifully, is strictly acquired, like mothballs, and can be eradicated
via hypnosis. But your usual beginner opens the game by four-putting every
hole and then leaping on to the next one immediately. He's having a ball,
so why not?
However, the game becomes far more serious and less
joyous, once the player has attained a certain plateau of performance and
is straining to achieve a still higher level. To this, I say, why strain?
It simply is not worth it. This is the moment to lie back and relax, to
throw away your scoreboard or abacus, and enjoy your self.
As my psychiatrist friend informed me sagely, "Only
a few of us can be big-time Parcheesi players. So why delude ourselves
into thinking we can attain perfection in the hay?"
We live in a rugged world of competition, and it
is madness to bring competitive pressures into what, supposedly, offers
us the ideal escape from care. There is nothing better for the tired businessman,
in my opinion, than to hole in on a sunny Saturday afternoon and play a
few holes. I feel certain most tired businessmen find the game relaxing--I
know I get a large charge out of playing exhibitions with them, because
they behave like teenagers. They enjoy playing with an established pro,
and they don't mind lagging behind in their own scores.
Of course, it's not quite that simple for us pros.
Always lurking in the backs of our heads is the thought that we've got
to make a buck. After all, this is our livelihood. I've been a pro now
for 18 years, and my health has held up. pretty well, even though I smoke
far too many cigars a day, which is another occupational hazard. The pro
who goes in for the grueling 12-month tournament circuit is the only one
who should really go in for the record-breaking score, of course. Of late,
however, there has been some discussion of making his or her life a bit
easier via rule restrictions.
One official, high in the profession, recently suggested,
after noting the wear and tear on the pros, that the matches be cut from
18 to 12 holes. He added that this would send the players home not totally
worn out, and that, "Everyone will be happier--the player's secretary,
his wife, even the player himself."
I don't know that I'd go quite so far where the
pros are concerned, but the scheme certainly merits consideration among
amateurs. It has almost as much merit as my score-and-no score systems.
But, in any case, for the next several weekends, let's all play bedroom