Robert Fiacco‘s voice is down-to-earth and genial in Showing Up to Play. In a humble way, Fiacco guides you through his own golf-learning experiences (including all the glorious highs and the inglorious lows) and draws parallels to how the game can positively influence your life behaviors.
From his first game of 130 to his current 20-point handicap, Fiacco has advice and anecdotes on how he’s found guidance in this gentleman’s sport. For example, a comical mix up between about the word “handicap” by his secretary leads Fiacco to reflect on how our perceptions of our faults can sometimes be more inhibiting than those faults themselves.
Much of Fiacco’s suggestions relate back to taking a more thoughtful and reflective approach to life, and that’s something we think just about anyone can agree on. Here’s a brief look into the book and Fiacco’s humor:
When we pulled up to the first green, I was just short and laying two, and Rose was set up nicely for a long birdie putt. After she won the first hole, the long ride to the second tee was torture. You see, Rose is a very gracious loser, but she is a horrible winner, especially when she beats me. She has a tendency to flaunt it. If she had a megaphone, she’d be shouting out our scores to the world.
As the cart approached the second tee and my smug golfing partner grinned beside me, I had an idea.
“Let’s make this fun,” I offered. “How about $50 for the front and $50 for the back, and I will spot you four strokes on each?”
“You’re on!” she said. Rose’s eyes were still twinkling.
I wasn’t quite sure what the Virginia rule for gambling on the golf course was, but I assumed that among family members it would be fine. Maybe not fine for my wallet,
but fine among family members. Plus, I had a plan. I had a 50/50 chance of beating her on the front nine, but I knew I could wear her down on the back nine. Eighteen holes is not her thing. At worst, I thought it would be a push, and I would still walk away with my manhood intact. If we ended in a tie, there couldn’t be any declarations of total domination at the clubhouse to any passersby, fellow golfers, waitresses, children, or any flies on the wall that would listen to her.
So, I spotted her four strokes for both the front and the back, and the game was on.
Well, as my golf game would have it, Rose whipped me on the front nine; but, as we made the turn onto the back nine, I noticed that hint of exhaustion, sort of like a farmer praying for rain. What would have been a smooth shot or simple putt only holes ago began to be a trial for her. I remained silent―always the gracious competitor in the face of hardship―and miracle of miracles, the golf gods answered my prayers. I won the back nine easily.
Thank goodness it was a push. There would be no exchange of currency from my wallet, and I could hold my head up high. Off we went to the clubhouse to meet the
shuttle bus and head to the resort for a nice dinner and a much-needed glass of scotch. But, while we waited to have our clubs loaded into the shuttle, I noticed Rose spending an unusual amount of time looking at my golf bag.
“Hey, wait a minute. How many clubs are in your bag?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered. “What do you care anyway?”
“What do I care?” Rose answered. “You’re only allowed fourteen clubs in your bag, and you have fifteen.”
“What are you talking about? This isn’t the PGA.” It was a vain attempt at defending myself. “And, where did you hear that anyway?”
She gave me a look that I have seen far too often over the years.
“In the PGA rule book,” she answered, her smug winner’s smile reappearing on her face, “if you would bother to read it. Pay up. You’re disqualified.”
I had been disqualified by my own wife. How humiliating! I thought briefly of pleading ignorance, but I had learned many years ago that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the rules. Not knowing is never an excuse. I know that I am not the best golfer in the world, but I also know this: I count every stroke unless I just plain make a mistake.
Showing Up to Play is available in hardcover and paperback through the BQB online store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers. The eBook is available through Kindle, Nook, and other major retailers.