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MP3 Bob Baker - Talking to the Ball: 7 Rock 'N' Roll Ballads About the Idiocies of Golf

A frustrated golfer''s bluesy moan of another tragic day

7 MP3 Songs in this album (22:14) !
Related styles: ROCK: Americana, SPOKEN WORD: Storytelling

People who are interested in Dave Edmunds Mojo Nixon Randy Newman should consider this download.

"TALKING TO THE BALL": Every hacker''s heartache.

They’re all here: The golfers who watch their putt lip out at the last instant. The ones who get in dutch with their wives for playing too many rounds. The ones who solve the frustration of the sport by lowering their expectations. Who try to talk their ball into a straight flight pattern. Who dream about a hole-in-one so vividly it seems real. Who bemoan handicap that has doubled to 24. Who remember a small bit of golf wisdom that changed their lives.

Bob Baker’s CD of original songs about the idiocy of golf, “Talking to the Ball,” provokes laughs and groans and more laughs and more groans. Its honesty and appeal lies in the fact that the 7 songs were written and sung by a high-handicap (don''t ask) golfer.

Bob, a lifelong Los Angeles resident, is a freelance journalist and songwriter who spent 34 years in the newspaper business, 26 of them at the Los Angeles Times.

The lyrics:


Every time I slice you
over the fence
I start a conversation
Don’t make one bit of sense
It’s a chat you don’t take part in
Though I wish you could
Maybe you could tell me what I’m I doin’ wrong with my lousy 5 wood
Like a homeless guy screaming outside city hall
I think I’m playing golf but I’m just talking to the ball.

Talking to my ball, telling it to sit
On the green then watching
it decide it will not quit
Bouncing towards the high grass, reminding us all
We think we’re playing golf but we’re just talking to the ball.

Most the guys I play with seem to think their ball can hear
When you see this for the first time, it’s positively weird
They wait until they hit the ball, and then they start to beg
As though the ball could fly and land and walk away on legs
“Oh, no, get outta that sand trap!”
You can hear them call
They think they’re playing golf but they’re just talking to the ball.

Talking to the ball, telling it to fade
Like I can intimidate it, make it afraid
Going where it wants to, no warnings at all
I think I’m playing golf but I’m just talking to the ball


The next time I drive you 120 yards on the ground
I’m gonna summon up my anger, spread it all around
I’m gonna grab my red Sharpie and write “BAD” across your front
I’m gona stop talking to you, ‘cause you can’t even grunt
I’m gonna buy my balls at Wal-Mart, cheapest of ‘em all
I’m gonna be playing golf instead of talking to the ball
I’m gonna be hitting, not talking
(Repeat 3 times)

No more talking to the ball
(Repeat 2 times)

My problem started with missing short putts
I fixed that, but I tore my rotator cuff
I rehabbed that, but I weakened my drive
Now I need some preacher to keep hope alive
For my handicap
My handicap,mMy handicap
has doubled to 24

The Mens Club posted new results today
I’m 97th in a field of 98
And the guy I’m beating just had a stroke
I got to wonder if he’ll catch me or whether I’ll choke on
My handicap, my handicap, m handicap
I’m limping down an un-fairway
Like a former president and hacker once said, ‘Please, feel my pain’

I used to have my pride, I used to walk tall,
Now I shake like a leaf addressing the ball.
I can’t show my face in the locker room
The 19th hole’s a beer pit of gloom
In my nightmares, I arise
to find my handicap is bigger than my waist size
I suffer from the worst glitch of ‘em all:
Hittin’ on the upper third of the ball.
Shame, y’know, is a serious disorder,
It can give you the yips, drive you to murder--so
I hope the club will soon update
The stat that has made me the guy to berate
For my handicap
(Repeat 5 times)
My handicap
Limping down an un-fairway


My shrink says to me: “You’re a happy little guy
All my other hackers whine, could you please tell me why
Nothing ever gets to you?”
I said “Doc, it’s a simple equation.
I greet every hole with
Low expectations”

You won’t hear me cussing myself
When my chip shot soars somewhere else
I''m not counting on precision when I play this game, Son
A good walk’s never spoiled with
Low expectations

Here’s what I mean

When I line up my tee shot
I don’t know where it’s goin’
It’s always a journey, there’s no way of knowin’
3 putts on a par 4 doesn’t get me uptight
Cuz I expect nothing--and I’m always right


My message to
You Doc, and to all your hackers is:
Be the antithesis of the Green Bay Packers
Well, make ‘em your friends,
Have em over for a beer
Out goes Mister Righteous Indignation
Let’s welcome home Mister Low Expectations.

You know, Doc, it kinda kills me the way you sit there and nod and never speak. You ever play golf? What? Miniature golf? Are you Crazy? Oh, sorry I used the C-word. My bad. Lemme buy you a drink later on today. Just remember…the glass is gonna be half empty


On the 18th hole
I measured it good
A 6-foot putt
Was all that stood
Between me and a 75, my all-time best
I’d shot 2-under on the front 9
In all my years I’d
never felt so fine—so hot, so precise…before
And now I whispered my mantra

Whatever you do, don’t blow this putt
Whatever you do don’t blow this putt
Whatever you do--don’t blow this putt.

I was jinxing myself, tempting fate
I was hurrying, I didn’t want to wait
Didn’t wanna lose
The great vibe I had today

Not just the eagle on a par 4, or the 80-yard birdie chip or, what’s more,
The hundred ninety-yard approach shot that put me here, saying

Whatever you do, don’t blow this putt
Whatever you do, don’t blow this putt
Whatever you do--don’t blow this putt


I knelt behind it, for the downhill break
Looked again, thought I’d made a mistake
Was it gonna break left?
Was it gonna break left?
I felt like screaming: don’t miss this putt!
I pushed it right a touch too much
It broke left on lip and did a three-sixty
I turned away I couldn’t bear to watch
Another lip-out--I knew I’d blown that putt!


Stop the tape.
Let the sucker make it


I felt like screaming: Don’t miss this putt!
pushed it right, a touch too much
It broke left on the lip and did a three sixty,
Which meant it was coming out but gravity took control,
sucked it in the hole and for once--
I didn’t blow that putt!!!


Well I dreamed I had an ace on twelve
And it’s funny cause it seems
That my game is full of bogeys
Until I begin to dream

Twelve’s a hard one, with an uphill green that plays two hundred four from the whites
To get on, I’d need my driver, but I’d get laughed at… as somebody’s wife.

So I take… my four-iron And I slow down my backswing,
And my hips come forth and I feel great contact and wait for what my dream will bring

Well the ball comes down and somebody says, “Hey Bobby, that sucker’s going in!”
When all I know is that I hit it straight; what’s got into him?

Then I see it bounce upon the apron, and I see it bounce again
And one more bounce, till it hits the flagstick,
gives up, and falls in.

And I dreamed that I had an ace on 12
Beers all around for everybody on 12
That’s my dream
(Repeat 4 times)


Joe walked up to his door with his clubs and saw
The moving van and his mother-in-law
And his wife, Wanda, teary-eyed, with a goodbye card
Wanda said, “Joe you’re on shaky ground,
You been playing too many rounds
Now all I want you to do is listen to me”

...but Joe stopped her, and he said:
Forgive me baby, I put golf first
I done some bad things to you, but this one’s the worse
I couldn’t see past me, I deserved God’s curse
Forgive me baby, I put golf first

Wanda cried, then grabbed Joe’s clubs and swung, crumbling Joe like a cheap old rug and he lay there on the pavement with a broken leg, and heard her say

“I’ve dreamed about leaving a hundred times before. You’ve turned into a crashing bore. God may forgive you, but I can’t any more."

Joe tried again: “ Forgive me baby, I put golf first,”

But Wanda hit him with a 3-iron, and then she held up her purse, and said:
See this, Joey, I cleaned out all the accounts,
I’ll see you next time in a hearse.”
I’m gonna find a better man who’ll put me first

Well a lot of water went under the bridge. Joe became a PGA regular and submitted “I Put Golf First” to a songwriter magazine contest—and won. Wanda took note of this, and called a girlfriend who was a secretary at “American Idol,” which is where, on June 4, 2008, Joe and Wanda reconciled in a duet that ended

Forgive me baby
Forgive me baby
Forgive me baby
I put golf first.


I was 12, hitting range balls
When an old man thought he saw some flaws in my game
He asked me, “Boy, are you committed
to your swing?”

I was too dumb to understand
He said, “Look! Look at your hands
They sabotage your stance
You ain’t lined up right
You don’t stand a chance

You’re almost there
But you’re trapped by proximity
Til’ your body is committed to your swing,
You’re not what you could be

He made me double check my shoulders and my waist
Only then was my swing of a’liking to his taste
And when I thanked him he growled like bear
He said, “I’d rather puke than watch
someone get stuck at ‘almost there’”


Almost there
Trapped by proximity
I figured out real quick
That’s not enough for me

Some day soon if i’m not dead
I’m gonna write down what the old man said
and find ….some kid … who i can scare
into committing to his swing
to committing to his swing
so he won’t get stuck at
almost there
almost there
almost there
almost there

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