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Posts Tagged ‘golf’

Savor The Moment

November 19th, 2021 No comments

In a departure from the usual  musings over media buffoonery, I wanted to share this ode to golf penned many years ago, to commemorate the regular golf jaunts made with an evolving cast of like minded participants.  In this present climate of restrictive personal freedoms and state enforced social gathering edicts, it harkens back to a time, not that long ago, when free people did as they chose.  A time when people lived their lives without the big eye scrutinizing their every activity.   Freedoms are always taken for granted until simple things in life become restricted and regulated.  It is also a reminder that moments in life are to be savored, not merely hash marks on the continuum of our lives.  It’s the texture of the fabric that makes living meaningful, not the length of it.   A 1973 single by Seals and Crofts entitled “We may never pass this way again” articulates this sentiment nicely.

While the following verse was composed in the context of golf and without an accompanying musical score, the sentiments are similar and are universal.

United of purpose

Of friends and of time

We share this brief moment

A verse in our lives

We savor the triumphs

The joy and amusement

Of remarkable shots

But more likely bemusement.

We share our tall stories

Of heroic shots made

But also our misery

When hooks became fades

We’ll naught soon forget

The guys that are here

Who have all come together

Most year after year

Try as we might

To have the same show

It’s never the same people

That’s just how life flows

We truly are blessed

Though we take it for granted

That all our joys shared

Will in our memories be planted

The passage of time

May make these thoughts fade

But here’s hoping we never

Forget the friends made

We don’t know if fate

Will to us, constantly favor

So every great moment

While here, we should savor

We’ll take all our memories

Of those that have joined us

We’ll reflect in quiet moments

And think as in chorus

If fate and good fortune

Allows us once more

To bask in the pleasure

At Bandon and shores

Then lucky are we

As comrades and men

To experience the brilliance

Should we pass through again

 

Can’t Sleep? Try Watching Golf

January 25th, 2013 2 comments

link Hyundai Tournament of Champions 2013: Sunday tee times delayed 4 hours due to high winds – SBNation.com.

People have always sneered that golf was not a real sport;  It was considered croquet with applause and the occasional water view.  As much as I’d push back and point out the physical accomplishments of hitting a small ball 300 yards, or the stamina required to regularly walk around for 4 to 5 hours, it was a hard sell to those who followed sports with ‘real’ athletic requirements.

Sadly, I think I’ve now moved into the camp of the naysayers.  Golf’s demise in my mind as anything other than watching lawn bowling with sticks came gradually, but was punctuated by the events at this year’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions.   The tournament had to be postponed numerous times by…high winds.  Can we imagine football being delayed because of high winds? Granted, the winds at the famous west side of Kapalua are legendary, but this is not new.  Over  the years all players have had to battle the winds as part of the charm of playing in Hawaii.  I don’t recall anyone characterizing the high winds at famous British Open courses such as Carnoustie or St. Andrews as anything other than challenging and part of the lore and experience of classic golf.  In Hawaii, it’s a show stopper.  It’s not as if they couldn’t play, it’s just that the scores would have been embarrassing to the elite PGA pros.  Nobody wanted to card an 89 or worse on their daily round.   I say too bad, that’s the rub of the green. Contrast this to the tournament in Palm Springs last week held under ideal manicured conditions and where the winning scores were minus 25 or so.  That was as exciting as watching re-runs of The Golden Girls in 3D.

Professional golf has made itself less and less of an interesting spectator sport and that’s borne out by the ratings.  With the exception of the four Majors, the average tournament is failing to attract viewers and therefore sponsors.  Compare the drama of an NFL quarterback scanning the defense for an opening while working against both a time clock and a half dozen large steroid stoked men imminently about to pound him into a grass stain versus the drama of a golfer having no time pressure agonizing over a 3 foot putt.  The worst thing is when the caddie and player both huddle and study the grass near the putt as if they were looking for spelling errors on the Magna Carta. Next thing you know, golf will be an feature on the Chess Channel.

The other main problem, which may may seem counter-intuitive, is that the players are all so good.  With the advances in technology, in teaching and in conditioning, very few players are able to stand out among the throngs of robotic look-alike players.  They all have the same swing and they all hit it 300 plus yards.   To make it worse, their attire is atrocious.  Unless you have someone sporting over the top eye-test outfits like John Daly or the getting tired soon monochrome of Ricky Fowler, most of the pros out there look as if they were dressed by their moms.  (Baby blue and beige?  Really?)  Unless you have Tiger or Phil back in the mix, all the players have the same dull demeanor. Beefeaters have more personality.  On the opposite side of the coin, when Tiger is in the field, the coverage excessively fawns over every and any aspect of his presence even if he was just eating a sandwich.   The obvious corporate man crush there is embarrassing.

The televised coverage has also deteriorated.  Since most players can put the golf ball straight down the middle, much of the broadcasts are essentially showing putting contests.  Watching someone agonizing over a 3 foot put like it was a math problem is not gripping TV no matter how Faldo spins it.   Combine that action with the somnolent drone of most broadcasters and you have a real recipe for dull.  We’d rather watch the guy 30 feet deep in the forest with one leg perched on a rock trying to hit his ball 45 degrees back onto the fairway like Bubba at the Masters.  Or Phil thread a ball through a grove of trees over water onto a green, also at the Masters.  And come on, do we really need absolute silence over every shot?   I suggest a new policy where people can not only cheer, but also jeer over shots so that there is some drama.  In fact, they should allow players to putt concurrently so the first one in gets to tack a stroke onto their opponent.  That’ll speed up the game.   And speaking of slow, there should be a time component attached to every turn at the ball just like the 25 second clock in football.  If you exceed it, a loud siren goes off.  Or you get a club removed from your set.  Let’s get some life back into the game.  People think it’s a geezer pursuit as it is.