Has golf made us soft?

James Pomerantz believes in walking softly and carrying a big stick, but not being afraid to raise both his voice and his stick when challenged.If there was a National Association for Tough Guys, Pomerantz would have a lifetime seat on the board of directors. He used to own a bar with legendary tough guy martial arts film king Steven Seagal, has ridden bulls under the tutelage of a PRCA World Champion bull rider and has former Bears coach Mike Ditka on his speed dial. He's also the author of a book on the toughness of being tough, titled "Tough Guys Always Play From The Tips: A Unisex Guide to Golf, Tough Guys and the Neutered Weenie Fraternity Created By Such an Insane Game" (toughguysbookstore.com). As the environmentalists lament the dwindling numbers of the spotted owl, Pomerantz laments the near extinction of the American Tough Guy. And while he doesn't blame the lily-livered liberals or the holier-than-thou conservatives (OK, he blames them both to some extent), he does lay a good amount of blame on the game of golf. "The popularity of golf and the decline of the American Tough Guy certainly have a direct connection," Pomerantz said. "If they don't, then can someone please explain plaid pants to anyone with an IQ above concrete? Think about this. While alcohol is forbidden on the field of play in baseball, football and other manly sports, it's not only available, but encouraged in golf. "In contract, try downing a cold one while coaching your kid's little league team," Pomerantz continued. "Also, on the exertion scale of physical effort, golf falls in just a hair short of playing poker or sleeping. "Finally, football and baseball have complex rules and umpires to prevent cheating of any kind. Meanwhile, on the golf course, players are perfectly content to skip a stroke, take a mulligan, move a lie, concede an easy putt and kick a ball out of the tall grass when no one is looking. In summary, golf is an exertion-free game for alcoholic blowhards." Further, Pomerantz points out that golf is a game that rank amateurs can play at a professional level from time to time. "Where else can an overweight, middle-aged half-in-the-bag Fox News addict hit a shot better than Tiger Woods?" he added. "Put Tiger Woods on a 150 yard par 3 with Skippy the Accountant, and let them each hit a bucket of balls toward the green. I guarantee Skippy gets a shot closer to the pin than Tiger at least once, if not more, during the challenge. Now, take Skippy and tell him to chase Michael Vick out of the pocket a few times. Just have a defibrillator and an EMS team standing by." In the final analysis, the culture of golf is in direct conflict with the culture of men, and that's why Pomerantz thinks it is one of the key factors that is sissifying America. "You know, mothers tell their sons to study hard, get a good education, make the right friends and be nice to people," he said. "Well, that's like asking the Dalai Lama to work at Haliburton. Life is about confrontation and confidence, perseverance and integrity." James Pomerantz has been a golfer since he was 10 years old. He earned a first degree black belt in Tibetan Kung-Fu in 1991and is an alumni of the Gary Leffew Professional Bull Riding School in Santa Maria.

********** Published: February 10, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 43