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Mmmm . . . open-faced club sand wedge . . .

Theres a horrible moment that comes with watching golf these days _ particularly if youre a man _ when you realize, horror-stricken, that you have an awful lot in common with that guy theyre making fun of on TV.

Whether its a goofball cartoon dad with stupidity of satirical proportions, a bow-legged investment banker with a swing like a cardboard box or Ray Romano, its always uncomfortable when something on the tube makes you blush.

For me, its the latest round of FootJoy ads. [photopress:FJ_Classics_Tour_1.jpg,full,alignleft]
I dont have a three-piece mauve-and-lavender ensemble for the golf course, but I definitely feel a kinship with Ian Poulter when, in one commercial, he sneaks past his wife, a shoebox tucked under his arm.

She catches him staring lovingly at his newly acquired custom MyJoys, giving him a look like shes just caught a 13-year-old entertaining himself in the bathroom.

He looks ashamed for a moment, then quietly reaches down to re-acquire the shoe, and with a guilty smile, compares the shade to his pants of purple plaid.

I never buy shoes to match a particular outfit _ well, almost never _ but I know what its like to surreptitiously smuggle ill-gotten (read: paid-for) golf gear into the safety of my basement office.

As a result, I can also relate to Zach Johnson, who stars in the other current FootJoy instalment “ trying to locate the all-white DryJoys in a garage wall of shoeboxes that puts Sam Walton to shame.

He, of course, cant find the stupid things without his wifes help. Look on the chart, she offers. I cant find the chart, he whines.

Finally, she calls out the precise location. Thank you, Zach meekly replies.

I dont have a golf-shoe power wall in my garage _ I dont have a garage _ but I do feel like I have more golf shoes than I ought to. But everyone knows they last longer if you rotate through several pairs, right?

Right?

I noticed in Golf Digests annual Hot List issue of a month or two ago that editor Jerry Tarde advises settling on a set of wedges, then buying several of each. Never practice with your gamer, for fear of premature wear and tear.

Hmmm. I like that logic. Now, how to get them into the basement . . .

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James McCarten

When James McCarten isn't at the Ottawa offices of The Canadian Press, where he works as parliamentary news editor, he's either on the golf course or putting off his latest freelance golf-writing gig to spend time with wife Lisa and school-age kids Claire and Lucas. With 20 years of experience in Canadian journalism, James also suffers from a financially crippling addiction to all things Scotty Cameron.

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