tiger3

Sure, Tiger's a great golfer. But can he identify a split infinitive? (Image:scubaeddie32/Flickr)

This may be a dreadful idea, but that’s what this blog’s for—all ideas are accepted here, both the abysmal and the brilliant. So here goes.

The Tour Championship and Ryder Cup are upon us and the 2008 golf season is winding down. So I’ve been thinking of a way to regularly update my blog while the PGA Tour is in the off-season and my playing time is hindered by 5 P.M. sunsets.

Since I’m a writer and editor by weekday and a golfer by weekend, I thought of an idea to combine my two passions into a weekly “column” of sorts. If the two things have anything in common, it’s that each is heavily based on rules. And there’s a lot of ’em, believe me.  

I do a lot of editing at my day job, and it’s literally impossible to remember every grammar rule, not to mention all the varying style guides that add to the confusion. And have you ever picked up the USGA golf rulebook? It’s like reading Greek.

So the purpose of this little as-yet-unnamed weekly column is to offer a brief tidbit on a grammar rule and a golf rule. Do the two have that much in common? Probably not. Maybe the rules comparison is a stretch, but why not?

Never did I realize how much interest there is in grammar until a recent ten-minute dinner discussion about split infinitives with some friends. And as for golf, I do not claim to be a rules expert, but rarely do I play a round when at least one basic rule isn’t broken—some in the interest of saving time, but many out of a simple lack of knowledge.

Hopefully you nongolfers will learn a little about golf and you golfers will learn a little about grammar and writing. And, trust me, this is for me, too. I still have a lot to learn about both.

Let’s have a little fun with it. I’ll start on Tuesday and continue it every Tuesday thereafter during the golfing off-season. If the column captures my interest (and yours)—who knows, maybe I’ll continue with it for awhile, even when the Tour starts back next year.

If you have any questions—such as the purpose of the em dash or the rule about lateral hazards (how riveting!)—then comment below. But, please, don’t lose sleep over this. I know you’re on the edge of your seats.

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