For Robert Lewis the ugliest moment in a life misspent on the
links came during a cursed round in the spring of 1997 at
Steamboat Golf Club and Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colo. On the
6,906-yard Robert Trent Jones II layout, Lewis ran out of balls
by the 12th. After the fellow he was playing with was bitten by a
snake while searching for a wayward tee shot, they decided to
call it a day. However, their debacle inspired Lewis, an Internet
entrepreneur and 30-plus handicapper, to buy and redesign
badgolfmonthly.com ("The Site for the Golfer Who Really Sucks!").
"Believe me," says Lewis, 33, "I can relate to the bad golfer."
Badgolfmonthly provides comic relief for the duffer by letting
him know that, as inept as he is, there's probably someone worse.
Take Tom (no last name given, for obvious reasons), who revealed
on the Hall of Shame message board that he shot a 132 on a par-62
executive course (ouch!) after firing an 83 there the week
before. The site also features lighthearted advice: The Anti-Pro
points out how well-paid instructors have a long history of
ruining swings. Need therapy? Each month the Golf Shrink,
psychologist Mark Shatz, tells how to let go of masochistic
thoughts like "I'm not worthy of this Big Bertha." Etiquette
questions? Click on Ask the Hacker. (To deal with that slowpoke
in the foursome ahead, the Hacker advises, "At every tee box
where I had to wait for him to tee off, I would make rude remarks
about his personal hygiene.")
The torment of badgolfmonthly is that it's part of Lewis's
travelgolf.com network. So even as you're feeling better about
your shortcomings, you're bombarded with ads for and links to
gorgeous courses that you have no business playing.
COLOR PHOTO: BILL EPPRIDGE