In a Sow’s Ear 10-5-10
October 5, 2010
Golf … it’s what retirees and tourists consider a fun activity. It’s a game you play on contiguous acres of mowed pasture. Equipment consists of a bag of sticks and a bunch of dimple-pitted white balls about the size of a ripe apricot. Clothing: Easy fit trousers, a polo shirt and a cap with a visor. Goal: Smack (stroke) the apricot with one of the sticks (which have little angled flat extensions on the ends) and hope it (the apricot, not the stick) falls into a cup. Cup: A man-made hole in the pasture (not put there by a gopher, prairie dog or jackrabbit).
Terminology is important to any activity or occupation. Golfers employ a bagful of terms for use when chasing the apricots or when “talking golfing” with fellow apricot-chasers.
As with Golfers, Ranchers use terms unique to their occupation. A comparison of a few terms respective to either pursuit follows.
Golfer’s Approach … Smacking the apricot so it’ll fall on the green mowed part of the pasture.
Rancher’s Approach … A cautious movement when halter-breaking a 700-pound steer calf.
Golfer’s Apron … Where one part of the pasture grass has been mowed shorter than another part.
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Rancher’s Apron … A utilitarian piece of clothing useful for collecting eggs, shooing geese or wiping off an engine’s dipstick.
Golfer’s Birdie … Sinking the apricot into the cup with fewer than usual smacks.
Rancher’s Birdie … Cackling creatures which taste good fried, baked or broiled.
Golfer’s Bunker … A hazard area filled with sand designed to trap an apricot.
Rancher’s Bunker … A ranch woman’s private cranny equipped with chair, a pile of romance novels and cold beer.
Golfer’s Chip shot … Smacking the apricot from just a little way off the mowed part of the pasture.
Rancher’s Chip shot … Cow-manufactured ammunition used by kids during mock or real hostilities.
Golfer’s Dogleg … Refers to the curved pathway the apricot makes rolling toward the cup.
Rancher’s Dogleg … Wound caused by Heeler pup as in, “Your dog bit my leg.”
Golfer’s Eagle … When an apricot is smacked into a cup in fewer than two smacks per standard for a particular hole.
Rancher’s Eagle … What you named the new bull after he jumped five fences.
Golfer’s Fairway … The portion of pasture which is kept neatly mowed.
Rancher’s Fairway … An equitable division of labor twixt ranch man and ranch woman. (When machinery breaks down, she goes to town for parts).
Golfer’s Handicap … Adjusting the score so lousy golfers can compete with the better players.
Rancher’s Handicap … Head covering useful for keeping off hot sun, gathering eggs or whacking the cat off the counter.
Golfer’s Hook … When the smacked apricot bends to the left.
Rancher’s Hook … An implement shaped like a question mark upon which the stuff on the floor should be hanging.
Golfer’s Pitch … Smacking the apricot in a high trajectory so it only goes a short distance.
Rancher’s Pitch … What’s done with clothing after a close encounter of the skunk kind.
Golfer’s Slice … When the apricot is smacked and curves in the shape of a banana.
Rancher’s Slice … What happened to your finger when cutting weeds with a hand sickle or the pie you had with your coffee.
Golfer’s Ace … Smack an apricot into a cup.
Rancher’s Ace … The kids’ pet rooster, the husband’s nickname, or a positive affirmation as in, “You bet your sweet Ace.”