I played golf for thirty-seven years before I realized Mark Twain was right when he said that golf was a good walk spoiled. Set out below are ten reasons why I quit playing.

  1. Chambly Golf Club, Montreal: Putted only twenty-seven times playing the full eighteen holes, but my final score was 135.

      2.  Tam O’Shanter Golf Club, Toronto: Swung so hard on my first drive of the season that I turned a half summersault and landed on my back. Missed the ball completely.

      3.  Stanhope Golf Club, PEI: After losing balls in the water on three consecutive holes, as I teed up on the next hole, where the only water in sight was behind me, I commented, “at least I won’t be in the water on this one.” Then I topped the ball, nearly missing it completely; it hit one of the tee markers, bounced behind me, and rolled into the water.

       4. Green Gables Golf Course, PEI: On a hole that had a very narrow fairway for the first fifty yards or so from the tee, with the path from the previous green about twenty-five yards out on the left side, before teeing off I suggested to the golfers waiting there that because I was a left-handed golfer who usually sliced, they should move over to the right side of the fairway. They dutifully trudged to the other side of the fairway. I hooked my drive right into them. Fortunately no one was seriously injured.

        5. Mississauga Golf Club, Mississauga, Ontario:  My partner, Ed Marchant, refused to continue playing with me unless I stopped keeping score.

        6. Stanhope Golf Club, PEI (where I often played): I was so frustrated after playing four holes that I sold my clubs for $100 to a guy from Texas and just walked the course with my friends as they finished their round. While we were having lunch in the club house, the club pro came over to our table and told me that when the Texan finished his round he told the pro what had happened, said he figured I’d want the clubs back after I cooled off, and sold them to the pro for $100. The pro sold them back to me for the same amount. When I asked the pro how he knew it was me who had sold the clubs to the Texan, he simply said, “Who the hell else would it be?”

         7. Green Gables Golf Course, PEI: Threw my seven iron so high and far into the woods that we couldn’t find it.

          8. Belvedere Golf Club, Charlottetown, PEI: Sliced an eight iron shot so badly that I missed the bishop of the Archdiocese of Charlottetown by about an inch while he was safely, he thought, entering the club house.

          9. Rosedale Golf Club, Toronto: I decided to take some lessons. The pro had me hit a dozen or so balls under his watchful eye. He then said, “Mr. MacInnis, you must have the best hand-eye co-ordination in the world.” When I proudly asked why he said that, he replied, “Because with that swing, there’s no way you should ever be able to even come close to hitting the ball.”

         10. Crowbush Golf Club, PEI: Lost my last ball on the eighth hole. On the eleventh hole, my playing partners wouldn’t lend me any more balls. This was in 1995. I walked off the course swearing that I’d never play golf again. I haven’t.