Bob Bestler

Golf magazines? You can keep ‘em

I majored in magazine journalism in college and today I still receive more magazines than I can reasonably read in a week.

There’s the old standbys -- Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and The Week. I expect these will be coming until they carry me off.

There’s also a couple I get at the moment because of a really cheap offer. Those would be Mother Jones and Harper’s. I probably won’t renew either; there are, after all, only 24 hours in a day and somehow I’ve got to squeeze in Colbert.

In addition to these, I receive two magazines monthly to which I never, ever subscribed. Those would be Golf and Golf Digest -- and therein lies a great curiosity combined with more than a little guilt.

I have never known where these two came from. Golf started showing up a decade ago; Golf Digest more recently.

I might receive them because I played in the World Amateur Handicap Championship. Or maybe because I once belonged to the Golf Writers of America.

Personally, I’m guessing that the golf gods began wincing at my game and managed to get my name on the subscriber list of two magazines filled with pages of golf instruction.

But here’s the deal.

I’m 76 and do not plan on improving my game any time soon. Besides, everything I know about the game -- or want to know about the game -- I learned decades ago, first from Ben Hogan’s “Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” and later from Jack Nicklaus’ “Golf My Way.” A few years ago I got some helpful tips from Harvey Penick’s “Little Red Book.”

After those, most golf instruction is so much blah, blah, blah.

These magazines also have special issues on new golf equipment.

Again, I have no plans to buy more golf clubs. Think of it as the green bananas syndrome: At my age, I’ll never get $500 worth of use out of a swell set of TaylorMades.

So I regularly pick up these magazines at the post office, take them home and put them in a pile on my desk. I look at the covers from time to time and say, no, I’m pretty busy right now. But as they sit there a certain guilt begins to build.

I love golf. Why don’t I want to read about it? Sometimes there’s a good profile. I like profiles. Sometimes there’s something historic. I love history. Maybe I should take a look.

But no. This one has pages and pages of golf instruction and an entire section on the newest putters, every shape and size you can imagine.

Sorry, editors, but to me it’s just another bunch of green bananas.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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