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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Not a golfer but that doesn't matter

I've played golf only three times. I did alright my first time, but that was about 35 years ago before I broke my thumb playing softball when a base runner tried to run over me at home plate. (I tagged him out and held onto the ball.) After two surgeries, my hand has never been the same. The next time I tried golf, the ball went everywhere and my score went much higher. Golf is not fun under those circumstances. I played only once more, with the same results.

As for attending a PGA tour event, I've done that only once. I followed Tom Watson around for most of a day. What I remember most was the absolutely precise "ping" I heard every time he teed off. Otherwise the day was not exciting.

But did I watch the final holes of the Masters on TV today? Definitely, for a number of reasons:

  • The spring scenery is luscious.
  • The commentary is first-rate and varied.
  • The particularities of each hole are a factor.
  • The field is international.
  • Young guys, guys in their prime, and old guys compete on an almost-level basis.
  • Although the golfers are more athletic and larger these days, it's still a sport that offers smaller guys a chance.
  • You don't have to watch commercials for Bud Lite or Doritos.
Of course, golf as a sport has problems. There isn't much upward-mobility, the turf is dependent on chemicals, and organizations like the Augusta National Golf Club have some regrettable moments in their histories. There probably won't be another Tiger Woods for decades, just like there was a 35-year difference between Woods and Jack Nicklaus. But on a Sunday afternoon in April, for an hour I forget about those problems and just enjoy the view.