GAIL WHITE Family plays a round, finds that golf is a funny game

It was early one Friday evening a few weeks ago when my husband, Pat, decided to take the family golfing.
Phillip and Andrew, our 11- and 9-year-olds, love golf and have taken classes to improve their game.
Four-year-old David is too young to know if he likes the game. He simply wants to do what his big brothers are doing.
Robert, 14, and I subscribe to Mark Twain's sentiments, "Golf is a good walk ruined."
Well, on this evening with our family at the local par 3 course, golf turned into a good walk riot.
Getting teed off
We spent 20 minutes on the first hole -- just teeing off.
Pat was the first to hit.
As he swung his club back to make his shot, "What club are you going to use?" Robert asked Phillip.
While Phillip casually answered his brother, Pat patiently waited at the tee.
Again, he swung his club in the air. Just before he made contact, David shouted, "Hey! Look at that!"
A goose was meandering out of the water.
Again, Pat lowered his club. We all watched the goose, discussed what would happen if it were hit by a ball, considered running down the fairway to shoo it back into the water and determined that the odds were slim that a ball would make contact with it.
Pat was leaning on his club.
Waiting for complete silence, Pat prepared to hit the ball once more.
Because of his prolonged wait, we all realized what we had done on his previous two attempts. With devious glances in our eyes, we waited until he started his swing again and all shouted various exclamations.
"I'm trying to hit here!" Pat bellowed. To which, we all burst out laughing.
He finally teed off amid our snickers and proceeded to cough, sneeze and sniffle as each child addressed his ball -- three of which went in search of the goose in the water.
Tears of laughter
I was merely along for the walk, which was good because I could not have seen the ball through the tears that had welled up in my eyes from laughing so hard.
Robert, being uncertain of his skills and not wanting to be shown up by his little brothers, had also chosen not to play. On the second hole however, we persuaded him to take a shot.
He is a husky boy, with a big build and a nose tackle attitude. He addressed his ball as such. Hunched over the club, with his arms awkwardly grasping the shaft, he looked like he was going to maul the little white ball.
I nearly had to run back to the clubhouse. I was ready to bust a gut.
Robert took our interpretation of his golfing appearance good-naturedly and patiently waited the 10 minutes it took us all to stop howling, at which time he crushed the ball, which sailed through the air and over the green.
Phillip and Andrew immediately stopped laughing. This was serious. They could only hope to hit their ball half that far.
They did just that and found themselves putting while the nose tackle golfer was still attempting to find the green, having overshot it once more on his return shot.
Angry tears
David nearly ate a golf club on the third hole as he walked up behind his brother during his backswing.
I was supposed to be in charge of him, but I was knee deep in weeds looking for a lost ball.
Tragedy struck on the fourth hole when Andrew's ball did not go where he wanted it to. Angry tears filled his eyes.
Phillip had the same experience on the fifth hole.
Robert was completely losing interest in this "dumb game" by the sixth hole.
I, having been enjoying a good walk, was discouraged by their unhappy attitudes.
Levity returned at the seventh hole, when Pat decided to skooch his pants down to pick his ball up out of the cup.
My walk was ruined, but the four golfers thought it was a riot!