Golf Is Not Life: Olive Oil In My Joints

The ‘Mechanic’ Keeps Life In Perspective

Every so often, we have to remind ourselves that golf is not life.  It is addictive, it is frustrating, it can be all-consuming.  We never quite figure it out.  But it is not life.  Remind ourselves that there is more to life.  And so today’s post is dedicated to Miguel Ángel Jiménez.  At 48 years 318 days, he became the oldest winner on the European PGA Tour today.  Somehow he seems to keep plugging along, working on his automobiles in his spare time.  This excerpt from his post-victory press conference really says it all.  Enjoy the day, look around at the beauty, have fun with friends, and remember it is a game.

About this site: Golf As God Gave It To Us

“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, we may die.”

Miguel Ángel Jiménez   is a 48-year-old, cigar-smoking, pot-bellied, pony-tail-wearing, red-Ferrari-driving Spaniard who still tees it up with the young guys on Tour.

Jimenez at work.

Seldom has a more improbable sight been seen on a golf course.  I daresay they wouldn’t let a caddy dressed as he does on most courses on which he plays tournaments.  Yet there he is, playing and enjoying himself as though the world is his.  His record in the majors over his last ten years on tour is much better than his record over his first ten years on tour.  Of his 19 European tour wins, 12 came in the last 9 years.  He seems to get better with age.

This is something that has often struck me about golf.

Two holes to play until I can sit down with a cigar and glass of Rioja

Perhaps to win, it takes the mania only a young person can handle; but doing well consistently is something that strikes me as better suited to a person over 40 or 45.  At one time, my next door neighbor, an amateur, was ranked ninth in the country in the 40-45 year old age bracket in tennis.  He had played in college for the University of Wisconsin but was clearly better on a relative basis at 43.

I asked him how this was possible.  He said simply that he had a much better sense of the shots to hit, when, and where; it was a lot less work to play well.  Perspective.

Here is Jimenez’ perspective, after today’s win, which I think pretty much says it all:

“Winning now, and becoming the oldest winner on the tour at 48, my goodness. Twenty-four years I’ve been on the tour, I’ve been around a long time,” Jimenez said. “But I still love it and that is fantastic, to love what you’re doing, and enjoy yourself, keep fit, keep working myself a little bit and stretching a lot. And that’s the main thing to do to keep the body to compete with the new guns.”

Jimenez earned his 19th tour victory by making four straight birdies from the seventh hole in his third straight bogey-free round to finish with a 15-under total of 265 on the suburban Fanling course. He was one shot ahead of Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden, who closed with a bogey-free 64.

As always, the Malaga-based Jimenez celebrated his success with a glass of Rioja and a cigar — and credited those habits with helping his longevity.

“There is maybe olive oil in my joints, and drinking the nice Rioja wine and those things keeps me fit and flexible,” he said. “Well, the most important thing (is), I do what I like to do in my life, and golf has given me all of this pleasure.”

There is “maybe” olive oil in my joints, and drinking the nice Rioja wine and a cigar, oh, yes, and a little stretching to keep up with the young guns, this is what keeps me fit and flexible.  Well, and if it doesn’t, it “has given me a lot of pleasure.”

A tip of our hats to Señor Jiménez, our friend and role model. [1]

Keep smiling, keep laughing, and have a glass of Rioja to keep fit.

M. Huckster

[1]

“I was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of sudden a thought occurred to me:  Drink more Rioja and smoke a cigar at least once a day. This propelled me to a theory of relativity.” Albert Einstein (various sources).

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