Man Games, Golf, And Cigar Etiquette

Man Games, Golf, And Cigar Etiquette

The favorite games guys play are fascinating.  Leave us alone in a room with no sports coverage on TV (oh horror) and eventually we get to one of the favorites.  One, we sit around and argue about who was the greatest player, such as Babe or Willie.  Two, we argue about who is hotter, such as Angelina or Selma (of course I’m not including Halle in this, because she CLEARLY is hotter than anyone else and invoking her name utterly and immediately ends the game – sort of like “you play baseball like a girl” ends any insult contest – see The Sandlot if you don’t believe me).  Three, and this one is always funny to me, “how much would it take for you to … [insert something disgusting or vulgar in the brackets].  My regular response:  why, are you offering?

Of course then there’s golf.  Yeah, golf may be even more pointless than any of those classic bar-drunk “what if” games.  It’s maybe even more pointless than showing some stranger at the bar photos of your kids on your iPhone (hint hint dude – you know who you are).   Golf among the mass of no-talent ass clowns we affectionately call America’s “working men” (yeah, that includes you buddy) is perhaps the most pointless of man games.  The only thing that makes the game even remotely worthwhile among this testosterone driven class of klutzes is the strong chance that someone is going to hit a house every other hole.  Now that’s entertainment.  Golf, among mere mortals, isn’t actually a game.  It’s Spanish Inquisition torture disguised in argyle sweaters.  When the Scottish designed this evil torment (which according to Robin Williams of course took place when two sixteenth century alcoholics in a Scottish Bar were playing a one-upsmanship drinking game: “Here’s my idea for a f$%*ing sport … hit your ball in a gopher hole …”), they could have just saved us all prolonged agony by inventing the guillotine or the firing squad.  Look up “slow torture” in the dictionary.  You will see a photo of your grandfather in plus fours  and a cardigan carrying a hickory-shafted mashie niblik.

There is, however, one redeeming value when it comes to golf.  It is the best pairing for a cigar.  Yes indeed, the very best.  Cigar purists may argue this point – claiming scotch to be the best cigar accompaniment, or some will claim my personal favorite, Calvados, others brandy, and some weenies will even claim wine or port (no no no, I’m not at all referring to the recent blog on this site about port … no not me [insert innocent looking face image here]).

Golf and a tenth-hole cigar is the perfect pairing.  I mean, while you’re busy bashing your silly little ball around the links, why not enjoy lighting up in the beautiful outdoors.  Cigar smoking has always been best when it’s outdoors (unless you live in Phoenix, like me, where being outdoors is actually like burning in the fires of Hell from June to September).  A patio, a scotch, a cigar, and a sunset, with the outdoor TV tuned to Sunday football can never – I repeat NEVER – be matched by the finest cigar bar any Vegas casino has to offer.  Golf comes close to the patio greatness in offering cigars their best venue.

Now I’m not going to suggest what type of cigar goes best with golf – they all do.  Morning golf is best smoked mild, windy golf is best a bit spicy and big, and evening “hurry up and get done before dark” golf almost always requires a Maduro.  But other than those minor suggestions, I’m a firm believer that golf pairs with any cigar.  Of course that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few rules (actually, more like “tips,” which is what my golf coach keeps giving me, and like the tip of a cigar, I just keep throwing them away).  Here are a couple of suggestions, rules, or tips for hazardous cigar smoking problems on a golf course.

1.         Lighting the cigar in a strong “two-club” wind.  Okay, I know what you’re thinking – bring a wind-proof torch.  But no, that’s too easy.  What if you didn’t bring your torch because you were too busy getting out of the house at 5am to meet your buddies and you only went to bed at 3am after a binger the night before and you left it on the dresser?  Yeah, it could happen.  Okay, it’s happened.  Not to me of course.  No really.  Ok, let’s just say your trusty torch ran out of juice?  Now any good boy scout would keep a spare bottle of butane in his golf bag.  But then good boy scouts don’t smoke cigars and play golf.  We golfing cigar boys were the bad scouts who went to pack meeting just to make trouble.  No, no, no – there is no butane in our bag.  And so we must make do with the cig match books the course offers.  Very important:  when trying to light a cigar in the wind with nothing but a small matchbook, DO NOT light the entire set of matches on fire and then light your partner’s dry crusty old golf glove on fire, and light your cigar over the blaze.  Of course, you might realize, about the time the blaze blows out and your cigar is barely lit, that you are now out of matches too, and smoking in a high wind, and so you’ll hammer away at the cigar afraid it will go out, with the wind smoking one end and you smoking the other, and it will last 3.5 minutes on average – just because you thought the way to light a fire was to burn everything in sight.

Instead, try putting your head as far as you can between the two golf bags on the back of the golf cart, take two matches from the book, strike them in this little cubby hole you’ve created safe from the wind, and light the cigar in your little cigar cave.  Yes it works.  I realize you’re risking having your buddies take photos of you bent over in that position which makes it look like you’re doing unspeakable things between an elephant’s hind legs, but the cigar is worth it.  Oh yeah, and this is really important — make sure you warn the driver of what you are doing before you bend over between the bags.  Trust me from experience, it’s hard to finish a round of golf with a broken nose and burnt hair.  Enough said.

2.         Be careful where you set your cigar while you putt.  I have not yet mastered the art of putting with the cigar in my mouth – so whenever I’m getting ready to putt, I always have to find a place for the cigar.  The options are:  on the ground, on the floor of my cart, on the seat of my cart, on the cart’s ice cooler, in my buddies putter cover he left on the ground.  None of these options are ideal, but the putter cover is probably best.  On the ground doesn’t work for two reasons – Unless you’re playing in Phoenix in the dessert, setting it on grass just wets down one side of the cigar – you know, like a canoe that has one side wet and one side dry.  Soon your cigar will oblige you and look just like a canoe.  Second, you’re likely to mix it up with the cigar you gave your buddy – which just happens to have been smoked for the same amount of time, with the same band, as the one you’re smoking – because you gave it to him.  Now don’t get me wrong, in a pinch I’d steal a cigar from Mother Theresa after she’d smoke half.  But that lovely cigar you’ve started with the notes of Leather, Chocolate, and Lilac just isn’t quite as appealing when you mix it with foul mouth saliva from a late night Wild Turkey binger breath by your buddy Moose.  No, just not quite the same.

The cart floor isn’t a good option, because invariably you’ll come back from scoring your third triple-bogey in a row, throw your putter as hard as you can in your bag, and roar off to blast an angry drive down the next fairway, just when you realize your cigar has volunteered to help with your tee-box shoe traction.  Trust me, golf spikes are not the proper way to fix a poor cigar draw – no matter how much you tell your partner that it’s exactly what you were trying to do all along.

Cigar on the seat is a bad idea too, unless you like paying costs to the course for cigar-vinyl damage.  It’s not a good idea to weld your cigar to anything, including skin.   But vinyl seats are especially susceptible to injury, and don’t hide it very well at all from the cart guys who clean your clubs when you end your round.

The top of the ice cooler is also bad – those slippery little suckers just don’t hold on to the cigar when you go speeding off (see angry speeding note above).

That leaves your friend’s putter head cover that he leaves on the ground when he goes to putt.  They generally hide cigar burns inside quite well.  Although I really can’t say much more about that at this time because I’ve been told to take the 5th Amendment on this issue by my attorney.

3.  Tip 3 is related to tip 2:  Make sure after picking up the cigar from your buddy’s putter head cover that you put the cut end, not the smoking end, in your mouth.  I cannot stress the importance of this tip enough here, little grasshoppers.  And it is especially important for those of you we categorize as “mouth chew manglers.”  Yes, you know who you are – you closet pederast.  You are the ones who fifteen seconds into the smoke have used your incisors and spit to make mashed tobacco potatoes out of the cap.  The cigar goes from a pristine thing of symmetrical beauty to something more like a surgically-repaired French phallus.  You mouth chewers are especially susceptible to mixing up which end to smoke, since both ends now look like distorted fish guts.  Just double check: If necessary, treat it like a baby bottle and dab one end on your wrist to check for heat (wait, I could get sued for that one – never mind).  By the way, I have it on good authority that you chew monsters suffer from an incurable psychological malady called homo-nuclear subcutaneous phallic-oralism.   Either that, or you just miss your binky.

That’s all for now cigar babies.  Enjoy your golf and cigars.  More next time!

Dave Rodgers-


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