Teacher’s Comments: Entertainingly original golf short stories
I had put off reading Weird Golf because—quite frankly—the title didn’t sound very interesting. I imagined a book full of stories of the guy who had to tee off on a dead horse, or how a guy got a hole in one after his popped up tee shot bounces off two consecutive sprinkler heads in the middle of the fairway before plopping into the hole (both of which happens to me). Weird things happen to everyone on the course and I wasn’t sure I wanted to read about them.
What I found instead was an entertaining collection of short stories that have more in common with an episode of the Twilight Zone than with the stories your foursome tells around the bar. Like the Twilight Zone or Outer Limits, many have “surprise” ending, so I won’t offer any spoilers by describing the stories. I will, however, say that the stories involve aliens, superheroes, ghosts, vampires, witches, faerie and all sorts of other Twilight Zone memes. This is like no golf book I have ever read.
The stories are all intimate, involving just a couple of characters over a relatively brief period of time. There are thankfully no blow by blow descriptions of epic battles at a Major. In that sense, they remind me of the golf stories of PG Wodehouse. I would love I see more stories of this nature than another of the seemingly endless novels where a guy finds a magic driver (putter, caddy, guru, et. al. ) and goes on to win some big event.
In addition to be short stories, Weird Golf also contains a couple of humorous essays,one of which tries to explain why it takes so long to play a round of golf. Donelson’s explanation—foursomes, golf carts and wrong tees—are identical to the slow play rants I’ve been making on this blog over the last eight years. In Donelson, I think The Golfblogger has found a kindred spirit.
I hope Donelson has more of these stories in his somewhat twisted imagination.