July 26, 2008

Stay Out Of The Woods

Are you spending too much time in the woods when you play and finding your ball has nothing to do with why? This may be just the answer for you

Does this guy's discomfort remind you of anything? Can you relate to that look?

Does this guy's discomfort remind you of anything? Can you relate to that look?

One of the fads now in golf involves trees. Specifically, cutting them down. During last year's U.S. Open, for instance, it took a while to recognize Oakmont Country Club. I remembered a lot of trees from the 1994 Open there, but for the 2007 national championship, thousands of trees had been removed to restore the course's original character. Or so the story went.

I have nothing against trees, except when my golf ball lands behind one of them, which is often. Trees add beauty to a course, provide shade and produce oxygen. Also, for male golfers, they are, for the lack of a better expression, the nearest point of relief. I mean, if it weren't for trees, we would be running around in circles, along with millions of squirrels.

Then again, there is this new gizmo on the market called a UroClub. Somebody who sensed the tree-cutting binge was imminent invented the UroClub which, again for lack of a better expression, is a portable urinal that looks like a 7-iron and fits right into your golf bag. According to the advertisement for UroClub, "It is intended to eliminate anxiety and uneasiness on the course ... and can be emptied at the nearest restroom or later on, when the golfer returns home." The UroClub can hold over a half a liter, and sells for $49.95. If you want to buy one for a friend, or an enemy, the second one is about half that price.

I called UroClub headquarters -- no, not in Flushing, N.Y. -- and a nice lady explained that UroClub is "the only club in your bag guaranteed to keep you out of the woods." She added that the contraption comes with a towel attached for the purposes of privacy. "The top of the club unscrews," she said. "You can use the container to put your money, keys and other valuables in, although you wouldn't want to do that and also use it for the reason it was intended." She said the UroClub was conceived in the United Kingdom, where indoor plumbing is a bit behind the times, but a lot of UroClubs are being sold in the United States.

My next call will be to the USGA for an official ruling. If I obtain one of these things, can I waive the 14-club limit?