I wrote about golf pants the other day. And here I am, writing about them again.
My friend Bernie shoots his age fairly often—an impressive achievement for a guy in his eighties. But Chick, who is half his age, came fairly close to doing something even more impressive. He shot 38 on the front nine and, therefore, as Tim pointed out, had a rare opportunity to shoot his pants—waistband on the front, inseam on the back. Chick is tall, so this was remotely possible, even though he usually scores in the mid or upper eighties. Golf being what it is, he ended up playing the back nine in closer to his sports coat—the result, primarily, of shooting his hat size on a couple of par 4s.
If you count handicap strokes, playing a round in even pants is a reasonable goal for many golfers, because waist size tends to vary directly with U.S.G.A. index. The two members of my club who are the most likely to turn in low gross scores, Addison and Kevin, are in their early twenties and wear belts that look like wristbands. Playing 18 holes in net Dockers is as challenging for them as it is for my contemporary Billy, whose gut gives him what appears, on paper, to be an overwhelming advantage. As for myself, I’ve often been under pants, gross, on our front nine, but have never shot my inseam on the back, a consequence of being tragically long-waisted for a golfer of my height and handicap.
My father, who was a stockbroker, used to reckon par the way they do in the bond market, at 100. To him and his friends, “five under” meant 95; “three over” was 103. Even with that generous scoring system, though, he had trouble getting into red figures. I took up the game late, in my mid-thirties, and when my brother, who had been the captain of his high school and college golf teams, saw me hit a weak slice with a five-iron, shortly after I’d started playing, he said, “You’re already the second best golfer in the family.” My brother, incidentally, has shot his pants several times, despite being cursed with a 34-inch waist.