Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 2.
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Expert Advice / Nobby Orens ’59

How to Know When You’ve Played Too Much Golf

A phone call awoke Nobby Orens ’59 at 4:15 a.m. and he hurried to the hospital for the birth of his sixth grandchild. But before rushing off, he loaded his golf gear in the trunk just in case his daughter delivered in time for him to make his 8:28 a.m. tee time. She did, and he made it onto the course.

Orens is a golf nut. In fact, in 1999 the Golf Nut Society named him Golf Nut of the Year, in part for playing three rounds of golf—in London, New York and Los Angeles—in a single day. The feat also earned him a place, although short-lived, in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Greatest Distance Traveled Between Two Rounds of Golf on the Same Day.”

Orens, who owns a travel agency in Encino, Calif., is also adept at playing quickly. In Alaska in 1998, he played 200 holes in one day. During his world record-breaking trip he played a round in New York in 65 minutes. Hearing that Orens was playing for a spot in the Guinness Book, other players cleared the course “like the Red Sea parting for Moses,” he says.

In addition to being an avid golfer Orens has competed and placed in several California bodybuilding competitions, in the 60-and-older division. Although he is in great shape he laments the toll old age is having on his memory. “If my mind was as in good shape as my body, I’d be a genius,” he says.

Orens says he got the material for his 2001 book, Golf Is a Funny Disease: The Official Guide to Golf Humor, by exchanging jokes with other golfers. On the book’s cover is a disclaimer that warns the reader: “This book contains many of the same four letter words you hear on the golf course, and we don’t mean ‘Fore.’” Because the humor is sometimes a bit crude, it wasn’t easy to excerpt some printable advice from this book. We finally settled on the following section, in which Orens gives (from a man who should know) symptoms of golfing excess.

You know you’ve been playing too much golf when...
...You pick something off the floor and you have to lean on your putter.
...You have your priorities in order: food, shelter, green fees, job.
...You dream you go to prison but still get conjugal visits with your driver.
...You tell the lost motorist that the gas station is only a par four away.
...You’d like to take off your glove but hey, why bother?
...Whenever you see a hole in the ground, you squat, squint and read the line.
...You ask the shopper ahead of you in the checkout line if you can play through.
...Before you pick up the saltshaker, you mark the position with a dime.
—Michael Bernstein ’08
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