Let’s imagine that they’ve developed a new drug for golfers. It doesn’t allow you to hit perfect shots every time. I mean, come on. This isn’t a fairy tale, it’s a thought experiment, so work with me on this.  It just makes you better, much better.  Whatever deformity your shot shape had, it’s gone.  You’re flopping them out of the bunkers like Luke Donald. The putts start dropping.  I don’t have to belabor the point.  You get what I’m talking about.

The scientific name for the drug would be something like puredaballafren, but they’d market it as Puredriva or something like that.  It would be available in different dosages (the higher your index the bigger the pill) as well as Puredriva for daily use for retired guys.  It’s easy to visualize what the ads would look like, popping up on every commercial break on Golf Channel and sandwiched in between the ones for the boner and gout pills.  There would be lots of shots of douchey looking guys giving each other white dude high fives on greens with great scenic backdrops, slow motion shots of high draws hit from elevated tee boxes, balls rolling into cups.  Again, I’m sure you get the picture.

But, then of course, there’s a catch. Like any new drug, there’s the small print: all the side effects that the narrator tells you about while images of the groovy new golf lifestyle you’ll be enjoying thanks to Puredriva continue to parade across the screen.

So here’s the question: what side effects would you be willing to accept?

Let’s consider some of the possibilities:

The mythical four hour erection: We’ve all heard it’s a possibility with some other popular medications.  But I’ll admit that  I’d be willing to endure this, ah, hardship, in return for shooting in the seventies or even the sixties.  And if you’re thinking that a four hour hard-on is just going to, I don’t know, get in way out on the course, you clearly haven’t given this enough thought.  First off it would be a great teaching tool, so to speak.  Pushing your drives? Just check and see where your boner’s pointing at the end of your swing.  If it’s not lined up with your target line, well then you’re just not rotating your hips properly. And on top of that it’s a timing device.  Who needs a watch anymore when you’re out on the course? “Hey, Bob, I’ll tell you how slow those guys in front of us are. My boner’s getting soft and we’re only on the freaking fifteenth hole.”

Blackouts: I’m going to need some more information. Would this be out on the course, or some other setting, like home or the office, where it might be more convenient?

Blurry vision: Hey, if on almost every hole my score is the number that’s already printed on the scorecard, who needs clear vision?  Hell, I can keep track of something like “two under through fourteen ” in my head.

Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting: Let’s clear something up: I don’t get all of these at once do I? I mean it sounds like some of them would cancel each other out, right? Regardless, I’m just going to accept these as part of a two-fer: it’s a golf pill that helps keep your weight down!

Tremors, bleeding gums, nasal discharge, headaches, dry mouth, heart palpitations, itchy scalp, big oozing red sores on your forehead, persistent sensation of fire ants crawling just underneath your skin, vivid hallucinations, night sweats, alteration of your taste buds so that all food tastes like plain non-fat yogurt: Hey, I’ve just got one question: what did I shoot? That’s right! Next.

Death: Kind of the ultimate side effect.  But there’s dying and there’s dying.  There’s shooting a tidy little 68, coming home and hanging out with the wife, having a nice dinner with a good bottle of wine and then falling asleep and not waking up, and there’s a horribly drawn out painful, disfiguring decline.  Obviously the first alternative would be a bit of a shock for the old lady the next day (and if on a Sunday would, possibly, interfere with going to Rhythm and Motion), but not a bad way to go, don’t you think?

So, what side effects would you be willing to accept?