Gary Player, pizza and flat belly golf

  • By Bob Peterson
  • 07 May, 2017

September 21, 2010 - Ralph Cissne

I hesitate to offer unsolicited advice during a round of golf unless I expect unfolding events may require the Heimlich maneuver. This technique becomes a challenge should a player choke under the pressure of a $10 bet and their girth exceeds your grasp. A casual skins game among my circle of friends is like playing in an amusement park attended by jokers like Silent Slim, Frogman, Willie, Starch and Lucas the Impaler. None of us are saints, but we can play and generally watch what we eat with the exception of Starch whose stomach looks like he’s into his third trimester. It’s a sign of our times that so many bodies could use Haggar Expand-o-Matic slacks.

On the first tee recently Starch rubbed in his Buddha belly and proudly proclaimed, “Look, I’ve lost ten pounds.” There was a moment of silence, but only a moment. “Who are you kidding?” the Impaler countered. “We haven’t seen your belt buckle since the Clinton administration.” Starch did not back down. “My stomach is solid muscle,” he said. “Watch this launch angle.” He gripped and ripped his Pro V1 deep down the fairway. “Don’t you mean ‘lunch’ angle?” The Impaler laughed. “When you speed dial Domino’s tonight lounging in your rusting Ab Rocker, order extra anchovies and tell them to hold the pizza.”

As a teenager I was inspired by the discipline of South African Gary Player who was the first professional golfer committed to proper diet and physical fitness. Gary and I are similar size and I’ve followed his example over the years, especially now that the younger flat bellies crush it 320. But my friend Starch doesn’t want any advice on moderation or the consciousness of caloric restriction. Starch is a good sport and a generous soul who is always eager to treat for the pizzas at a card game. The opportunity, when you’re doing Domino’s, is to refrain from eating an entire 2,500-calorie pizza by yourself. Some things, like a good laugh in a casual round, are most satisfying when they are shared. WOG
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