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walking makes music happen in my head
i can't golf with or without you
by joe redden tigan

Over 4.5 hours, walking a golf course develops rhythm. Rhythm in your heart. Rhythm in your mind. Rhythm in your flesh. Rhythm in those people and things around you. Everywhere, rhythm. Walking makes it impossible to keep songs out of my head over 18 holes. “Rio” does pop in every now and then and usually signifies a high energy level, though not always conducive to the best frame of golf-mind. “Rio” needs to be monitored, or it can overtake the game at hand. “Rio” can be harnessed, though.

“Billie Jean” is usually a given, and I figure my healthy stride somehow suits that beat, because it can come out of nowhere. Others that get a lot of play include “Get Back” “Holiday” and “Locomotive Breath.” “Goin’ Back to Cali” has been a favorite. “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” was in such heavy rotation at one time that the song simply would not dissipate or even fragment during any waking hours, which began to concern me. The ability of “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” to help me break 90 aside, its omnipresence seemed too implausible to live with over time, and the failure of certain measures to subdue it was unnerving. When the playing of “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” itself cranked on the stereo several times in a row one night at home did not work, I decided to go get drunk down the street at Cathy’s Tavern, not so much as a measure to ward off “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” as it was to just release the stress associated with carrying it around everywhere. In other words, I just figured I’d go get drunk with “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da.” I happened to walk into Cathy’s Tavern just as someone lit up “Give It To Me, Baby” on the jukebox, which, even without any beer yet, interceded between me and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” quite successfully.

Be that as it may, the power of song to propel a golfer to heightened successes should not be underestimated, and the power of walking to ignite song is incendiary. Overall in music as it relates to golf, some songs are “beat” songs that come via walking and they help maintain an excellent rhythm, and some songs are “motivational” and help to keep a positive message going in a player’s head. “Amber” is an example of a song that did both for me. Unfortunately, not all songs if stuck in one’s head will provide the right rhythm or the right message (much less both) necessary to maintain the cadence of a well-played round of golf. They can be disproportionately energizing. I have been known to mention “Barracuda,” “Dirty Deeds,” and “Immigrant Song” in this category.

Even if you took away walking’s ability to ignite song, walking would still be the most important factor in golf. It must be so overtly characteristic to the game walking must be because it is so completely overlooked as golf ’s heart. Walking is certainly golf ’s major challenge and its ultimate pleasure. Everything that happens during 18 holes is born from walking.

For the weekender, though, it is getting more and more difficult now to walk. In possibly one of the grossest forms of unchecked greed, golf courses and golf course architecture are restricting walking completely and offering only cart-taking as an option. They are being built golf courses are around cart paths, pavement mind you, in order for rounds to be played quicker allowing more people to “get through” the course in a day. “Higher turnover.” This isn’t particularly a new phenomenon, but it is rampant now. And alarming. Many courses today, and this is flat out disgusting, charge the same amount for walking a round as they do for riding a cart. To discourage walking, that’s why. But carts will never look truly at home on a golf course. For the sake of those that are unable to make the walk but still enjoy the fresh air and can put a decent move on the ball, carts aren’t really hurting anybody. But for those that are fully able to make the walk and choose a cart anyway, especially those that just assume that is the procedure, there is nary a more heartbreaking example of carpe diem gone utterly to waste.


Joe Redden Tigan’s first novel does not have enough commas. It says so right there in the Foreword magazine review. Despite that, Waggle was bumped to iUniverse's Star Book program and is currently being considered for an Independent Publisher’s Book Award.

more about joe redden tigan


the sweet spot
what's better than sweet?
by joe redden tigan
topic: humor
published: 5.17.09


russ carr
4.29.09 @ 10:37a

just as someone lit up “Give It To Me, Baby” on the jukebox

Rick James is a helluva drug.


joe redden tigan
4.29.09 @ 12:40p

i wish i could bottle rick james. when he was alive. when he was alive making hit music. i think you know where i'm trying to go with this.

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