Golfer Struggles; Keeps Going

July 18, 2012

God may punish me for sharing this, but if he/she does, it will just be one more thing for which I am punished.

Today, I saw one of the most remarkable things my eyes have ever beheld (below). The young person (name withheld for obvious reasons) is a teenager who has posted reasonable scores in prior events, so there is some level of previously established competence.

Your eye is easily drawn to the first part of the round, holes 2 through 5. Each of these holes that have some combination of out of bounds and water hazards on them. Despite those hazards, it’s difficult to imagine what happened during this 90 minutes stretch. By my estimation, the contestant probably lost two dozen golf balls on these four holes; conceivably one full dozen on the fifth hole alone.

It’s easy to focus only on that first part. What I’m amazed and impressed by is that this kid kept going. There was a decent stretch of holes in the middle of the back nine.

A lesser man might have just walked in (after all, the fifth green isn’t far from the clubhouse. In fact, lesser men have walked in when facing such adversity. Whether it’s Tiger and after his +6 on the first nine of the 2011 Players’ Championship, or John Daly on any number of occasions (he’s gone so far as to play all 18 holes then either fail to properly sign his card and get DQ’d or to get to the 18th hole and fail to hole out so that he doesn’t have to post his number), or any other PGA Tour pro you see in the newspaper with an 84-WD next to their name. But not our kid. He kept going. And going, and going and going. Good for him.

I’d love to know the story behind what went on, but fear that I never will. In the meantime, I salute our junior golfer and wish him the best next time. While I’m sure he’s disappointed and likely more than a little embarrassed, he should be proud of his willingness to see it through and post his number.

Honor Arnold Palmer Now

April 5, 2010

Long Live The King

As the NBA has a silhouette of Jerry West as its logo (West’s nickname has become “the Logo”), I think that it’s well past time for the PGA Tour to change its current, nondescript logo in favor of a silhouette of Arnold Palmer, in the full slashing motion of his dominant days of the early 1960s.


The King is the Alan Shepard to Tiger Woods’s Neil Armstrong.  Without Arnold, Tiger’s success wouldn’t be possible.   Palmer, nearly age 83, deserves a permanent tribute now, while he is still around to appreciate it.  It’s the least they should do.

Tiger’s Text Record and the Shadow It Casts

March 19, 2010

She kept a transcript. She's got a website. A bad combo.

Today’s NYPost offers a piece on the posting by Joslyn James to her website of text messages allegedly from Tiger Woods.  If true, this is the gift that keeps on giving for comedy writers and the nightmare that won’t end for Elin (and maybe even Tiger).

On the theory that this story is accurate:

I wonder if someone should remind Tiger that the 12th hole at Augusta National is called “Golden Bell” and not “golden shower”.

I wonder if Tiger can even spell “misogyny”.

I’m no doctor, but wow.  Just wow, does this guy ever have problems.  Personal and professional problems.

With this stuff coming out (and who knows how much more of it there is from other sources), I think that success on the golf course might not be enough to rehab his reputation.

America loves a good second act, but when the lead character digs himself a whole this deep, it’s hard for me to imagine complete rehabilitation.  I keep thinking about the way Barry Bonds got treated at the end of his career–people believed he had taken steroids and cheated, and everything he did was tainted by that fact.   People hated the guy for what he stood for.  I know the Bonds case is different from this because of the performance enhancement element, but I can see golf fans and sponsors never getting over this.  Who (other than Tiger) knows hows how much more of this stuff is out there?  Will it continue to trickle out?  If you’re a potential sponsor, are you willing to take the chance that, knowing that what’s already out there is pretty “family unfriendly”, the unknown might actually be worse.  Although it’s hard for me to imagine stuff that could actually be worse than this.  I don’t get out much.

It is possible that having this come out now will desensitize people to what, if anything, that follows and that the shock factor, while high now, will drop over time. We’ve seen this in action before with political sex scandals. While President Clinton’s escapades shocked, does what we’ve heard about Sanford or Edwards really shock?  The sex part I mean, not the stupid part–the lies about going hiking or whatever it was that Edwards was doing.  I don’t think so.  We’re desensitized to many things that were once taboo–swearing on television being probably the best example.

But this feels different to me.  I don’t think that we’re desensitized to this kind of language, or this kind of imagery.

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