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Guide to Canyon for those who can’t … golf

There’s a calculator on the Internet that says my handicap is 23. Just another reason not to believe everything you read on the web.

Anyway, golf isn’t necessarily just for people who can actually, you know, play. There has to be place for the rest of us, and you’ve found it. Our golf guy gives you the lowdown. Consider this the lowbrow.

Now, every high handicapper knows that some courses make it a privilege to get your butt kicked. Canyon River just crashed my current top five. The setting is only half of it — well, maybe more than half. The eight holes that hug a lazy elbow of the Clark Fork River especially are scenic enough to make you forget the 6s and 7s on your scorecard. And the length — five par-5s and three 400-yard par-4s — is a siren for the grip-and-rip gang. Course management be damned!

But be warned: the canyon in question is known as Hellgate, and the wind can be satanic. But that’s a great alibi for a high score, no?

Reservations? The shirts-with-collars-only rule. Guys, I love your club and appreciate you wanting to keep it classy. But this is still East Missoula. I went to school with guys from East Missoula and can’t remember a one who owned a shirt with a collar.

Our three crucial categories:

If you really suck, can you still have fun? Maybe especially if you suck. The bunkers are so draconian that it’s worth going in a few of them just for the harrowing thrill of trying to get out.

Our golf guy is full of it: Relatively flat? Not where my ball was landing.

Lost ball update: 0. I kid you not. This is as good as making birdies, if you ask me.