My wife thinks I have gone around the bend because I have begun watching golf on television. I have never played golf, unless you count courses with a windmill hole. But I enjoy watching, and I have a regimen that I find very fulfilling. First, I place a pint of excellent beer within my reach. I put my feet up on the ottoman, and my dog, a miniature dachshund, comes and sits on my lap. I position a volume of Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative on the sofa to my left, and with my right hand, I use the remote to summon golf to the screen. During commercials and slow moments on the course, I listen to Shelby Foote’s beautiful, flowing prose being read aloud inside my head. When something cool happens in the match, like someone hitting a ball into a forbidden forest, I look up and see tall trees, sweeping lawns, sinuous sand traps, shimmering lakes — and, of course, some remarkably talented people doing incredible things with a club and a ball. Apart from an occasional volume adjustment, my right hand is free to pet the dog, of which he approves. I find I can spend two or more hours doing this, without any danger of boredom. The announcers speak softly, no one gets hurt, the scenery is soothing, the dog is sleeping, I am smiling. Life is good.