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  The Golfer of the Gaps

Dear Jonathan,

I must be frank with you, because although we've been at odds with one another for some time, I've always considered you to be my friend.

So as a friend, let me state it simply: You are making yourself look ridiculous.

Time and again I've shown you to be wrong, and yet you persist in your discredited assertions, retreating as little as possible, only to be forced into retreating again!

Remember when you suggested that the reason the golf ball made a midflight change of course was because a "golfer" - whatever that might be - had by some mysterious means changed its trajectory?

You recall, do you not, that I clearly demonstrated that the change of course was the result of a twig that deflected it?

And do you remember the occasion last summer in which you made a similar claim for a ball that was deflected somewhat higher in its trajectory? Yet in this case too I showed that the change in the ball's course most likely resulted from its striking a very ordinary bird.

My friend, we have fought for years over this issue. I have successfully demonstrated that wind resistance is what slows the golf ball in its path, not your "golfer." I've shown that gravity causes it to arc downward and come back to the ground, not your "golfer." I've explained away both the oddities of the ball's flight through the air and its travels across the ground. In short, I've successfully explained 99.9 percent of the movement of the ball without the slightest reference to any so-called "golfer."

Most recently you have suggested that a "golfer" is the motive force that suddenly propels the ball into the air from various points along the golf course.

Now I grant you, Jonathan, that there are gaps in the theory of golf ball movement, but they are small, and getting smaller every day. Science is still advancing and there is every reason to believe that your latest line of defense (this new "motive force" objection you have raised) will ultimately be explained away without the slightest reference to a "golfer."

Please Jonathan, I'm thinking of you. Your unscientific views are putting your chances of tenure in jeopardy. Please put away this odd notion of a "golfer." And if you won't do it for yourself, at least think of Mary and your kids.


Copyright 2000 Brad Haugaard.