Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The time: ancient history. Me? A kid. Opinion of golf: silly; certainly not a sport. Jump forward to my early 20's. I get to play a few times with a couple of friends. Maybe all of three times, and never more than 9 holes. The experience was fun but you'd have to jump forward another eight or nine years before I would grip a club again. Never watched it on television during that time. Nor before. Maybe my dad would fall asleep on the couch while entertaining the idea of watching it. Maybe I would catch glimpses of it as I passed through with friends. Or girls. Or both. Or neither. Then, my bachelor party. A few friends and I gathered for a full 18 holes. We had a couple of carts and luckily Johnny Knoxville had yet to show just how much fun you can really have with one of those things. So we were only mildly annoying out on the course. We let plenty of people play though, had a ton of laughs, especially when one of my friends got frustrated. We were merciless. Still I had no intentions of ever really getting into the game.

Then Dan Panosian, the Urban Barbarian, got involved with a comic strip for Sports Illustrated through Marvel Comics (written by Chris Eliopoulos). Dan the muscle bound destroyer-of-worlds made it look easy:

Golf still wouldn't have shown up on my radar except that Dan had to bow out (obviously too popular and in demand in other arenas) and he graciously suggested handing over the drawing duties to me. Luckily the fine folks at Marvel said OK, so I wasted no time into making a mess of things (colors by Chris Sotomayer, edits by Nick Lowe):

Suddenly I'm drawing people playing golf, which leads to me watching it regularly on the ol' boob tube. I gotta wrap my mind around what I'm doing, right? I gotta know who these people are that I'm drawing and what in god's name they're really doing. The strip only lasts for a year and a half, but as if the enjoyment of drawing it weren't enough, I got hooked on the game.

Birthday money last year: spent on a cheap starter set of golf clubs. Got some balls from a used Sporting Goods store (that's where I get all my balls; it's the place to go for affordable balls). Buy "Golf For Dummies" by Gary McCord (former pro who you'll find on CBS nowadays). Springtime arrives and I start frequenting the driving range. Any ball that actually goes more than 25 feet usually careens way off into the nets on the right side of the range. I get a couple of chances to play 9 holes. Ugly. Fun, but ugly. Then winter hits. I live in the Chicago area, so winter means no golf. I grew up in the south where that's not necessarily the case. Now, Chicago. I love the windy city but man o man do I hate the winters. No need to elaborate.

Finally. Finally! FINALLY!! Spring 2008 decides to show it's little head. I've got tons of work to be doing (which I'm plenty thankful for), but find it difficult to remain indoors. I'll be working late hours now to pay for my lack of discipline, but it's completely worth it. I head out today for the driving ranges. Only been once so far this spring. The course, however, is practically empty. Now why would I just go to the driving range when there's an entire course calling out to be used? I gave into temptation, ponied up for 9 holes, and after playing golf less than 10 times in my whole life I get my first birdie. I could die happy. Yes, I know it's completely silly, but it's truth. And no lessons other than that book, which I'm still only a quarter of the way through. I haven't even finished reading about how to swing the damned club yet, but I cannot wait.

The point of all this? No point. Just me obsessing. It must be the weather. Oh, Gary McCord? Great book! I would definitely recommend it. If only I had known as a kid that I would end up loving the game so much. Drawing? Yeah, it's a true passion for me, but I watch TV and I think those golf people get paid better. Somehow I don't think Bob Ross and Tiger Woods live in the same neighborhood. Oh well, I still love what I do, but I'll dream of golf while sitting here drawing...

1 comment:

Urban Barbarian said...

Ha! Thanks for the kind words Mike! You really rocked The Stik comic strip! The fellow I based Stik on loved it too! Too bad you got bit by the golf bug... I owe you!!!