The no-count gimme: an important variant of selective memory loss (vide supra) and much commoner than previously reported. The contributor of this important observation says that his mother gave her score after a round and was 18 shots short of her actual score. When confronted with the discrepancy by her son, who went over her first hole, shot by shot, by saying she had 10 shots: “three drives, three fairway shots, three putts and a gimme for 10!” She replied: “nine, nine shots and a gimme!” This golfer’s vacation home on Sylvan Lake is named “no-count gimme.”
The yips: a common infectious disorder, neuro-muscular in origin, whereby the putter on a simple five-foot putt jerks on the downswing. A variant also seen with chipping. Sometimes requires electro-convulsive therapy, but is generally regarded as incurable.
The dead sheep putt: a complex visual-cerebral-cerebellar-muscular twitch disorder related to the yips (vide infra) which most golfers have experienced at one time or another. The golfer whose ball lies on the green furthest from the hole usually putts first. All other players’ balls are lying closer to the hole. The unfortunate putter under- or over-estimates the distance and finds his ball still lying furthest from the hole at which point one or other of his fellow players exclaims, “Still you!”
A James Joyce: a difficult green read.
A Finnegan’s wake: an impossible green read.
Nice imagery in the following two … a ferret: sinking a chip from off the green; a golden ferret: same from a bunker.
A swoosh: when a playing pal (usually a 24 handicapper) swooshes the ball from about five feet into the hole and exclaims: “Thanks for the gimme.”
Some general maladies
Club foot: a genetic anomaly whereby the golfer invariably sets up his stance incorrectly with the result of rarely achieving a hit straight down the middle of the fairway, usually resulting in a slice or hook. With intensive therapy from an expert, this anomaly can be ameliorated but may take several years for correction to occur.
Iron deficiency: a common condition affecting the use of the lower irons 2, 3 and 4, whereby the iron has a life of its own, either digging deep into the turf or scalping the ball (vide infra).
Hooker’s disease: a common disease, sometimes infectious, of various patho-physiology. The most common occurs where the golfer’s left foot (assuming a right-handed patient) is placed too far back from the perpendicular thereby swinging the club round to the left. For left-handed golfers, the left foot causes the problem.
Water hazards: A disorder of older male golfers who require bladder emptying more frequently than average, related to the swelling of the prostate gland. Female golfers have a different etiology and are advised to submit a urine sample.
Sudden-death play-off: many golf clubs now have resuscitation equipment to counter this event sometimes occurring when a golfer with heart disease unexpectedly achieves a hole-in-one. If no immediate resuscitative assistance is available, do not interrupt the round. This can be completed by taking turns to carry the deceased. There is no point trying to resuscitate a victim after half an hour.
Golfer’s scratch: a dermatological condition (unrelated to “scratch golf”) where the victim finds he has an itch in a difficult to reach spot such as where the sun don’t shine.
Golfing AIDS: an incurable disease in which the golfer feels compelled to aid their round by frequently improving the lie of their ball. Most often occurs in areas of the course hidden from sight. It can go unrecognized (although suspected) for many years by those around, but when diagnosed it carries a stigma. This can be reduced by buying beer at the 19th.
Psycho-masochism on playing a bad shot: An interesting psychological condition whereby the golfer reverts to childhood and self-castigates as his/her mother/father might have shouted at him, e.g., “Adrian, you fool! Lifting your head again!” In extreme examples (in English golfers) it is accompanied by a back-hand whack on the butt.
Attending an afternoon (or evening) course: this is code-speak for going AWOL and taking time off to play golf masquerading as a duty of self-education. Do not overuse. The phrase first came to me from a friend and hematologist, Dr. Ted Thaell, now retired, but in his life-long search for knowledge he continues to use.
Preventive dietary advice for the golf course (and operating room) from Dr. Boyd (aka “the Golfer’s Doc”); an excerpt from the soon to be published Wee Book of Ragged Rhymes
The day before surgical operating or assisting – or golf – one should avoid beans, especially curried beans. In days when most abdominal surgery involved an open incision, if nostrils detected a fecal odor, panic could set in. Has the bowel been cut? The culprit responsible can avoid a fruitless search for the possibly injured bowel by confessing – a rare occasion when confession is advised.
In major golf tournaments cameras follow everything. I have often seen famous players on the tee about to drive, but then step back. Commentators will say a noise or a camera click has disturbed their concentration. Perhaps. But the player may be sensing colonic gas close to escaping. It must be dealt with. If not, the pressure of the driving stroke’s downswing will force its ejection. Embarrassment! And worse, a bad shot. More serious consequences can occur if a hot spicy curry is eaten the night before golf (or surgery.) Curries are aptly called “the meal one can enjoy twice.” Herewith a cautionary tale:
An older gentleman was playing in the Sunday morning mixed foursomes – everyone polite and well attired. He was praying for an accurate drive from the tee. The reason? While leaving the previous hole he had felt the need to release colonic wind. To his horror, it was not mere wind but much more – the revenge of the night-before’s curry. With narrowed stance he stood to his shot, aiming directly at the nearby woods. For once the ball behaved, soaring into the greenery. Refusing help to search for his ball he minced off. His wife later said she saw his odd walk and wondered if he had hurt his back. He finished the round but on reaching the clubhouse again disappeared (at a brisk trot) to the toilets. A dose of Pepto Bismol, a few gins and a sensible lunch, he explained all. Our group were soon taking detailed notes of his cautionary tale.”
Editor’s notes: The views, perspectives and opinions in this article are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of the AMA.
Written by Dr. Alexander Paterson August 2020 with important contributions from Dr. Trevor Powles, London, England; Dr. John Boyd, Edmonton; Dr. Alex McPherson, Edmonton; and Prof. Mitch Dowsett, London, England.
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