The golf czar speaks: Forget Tiger; enjoy the game
Thursday, August 4, 2011
It’s during these warmest days of summer – the Dog Days, as named by the Romans or Egyptians or the French, or maybe even the Amish – that golf seemingly is at its most placid pace. To tee it up with the sun’s arrival is a delight, but so, too, is the game a priceless joy in a warm twilight.
Actually, 18 in the morning and nine to close things out hours later is not a bad way to bookend a warm summer’s day. Certainly, the casual start and peaceful finish would provide plenty of time to consider aspects to the game that deserve thought.
For instance, if there were a chance to be golf czar even for one day, here would be some of the decisions made:
• A moratorium on the Tiger Woods front, to all this tiresome speculation on what he’s been doing and how he’s going to play, who will carry his bag and what color shirt he wears and how his practice drives fly. Empty the pens of all this venom. We get it; you don’t like him and how he lived his life, but enough. Let him play and judgment will be easy. It’s called a score.
• Yani Tseng is performing brilliantly, but spare us from the same sort of silliness that was spread several years ago when Annika Sorenstam ruled the women’s game. Tseng is not the most dominant golfer today, just as Sorenstam wasn’t the most dominant golfer back then, and their accomplishments simply can’t be mixed in with what the men are doing. Apples and plums, or perhaps even kiwi and bananas.
• Please take note: They are bunkers, never sand traps.
• Oh, and rakes belong in the bunkers, not outside them. Don’t like it? Too bad. Change it when you become czar for a day.
• Pardon the prudishness, but one plays golf. He or she never, ever goes golfing.
• That being said, it’s probably no surprise that the czar will insist on the proper wording when it comes to what they are, that is, “hole locations.” He would rather three-putt from 12 feet than hear someone ask, “Look where they set the pin.” Makes you want to reach for your bowling shoes.
• If you have yet to introduce a youngster to the game, what are you waiting for? The summer is slipping away, and it’s a golden rule by which one should play this game.
• And let those power carts remain where they are parked. On this day, you must walk.
• Solid brown tees are preferred, though solid whites ones will be accepted, but no other color can be put into play. As for when you have hit, remove your broken tee and toss it aside; do not leave it in on the tee box to damage the mowers and soil the landscape.
• As for the other end of the hole, consider it your supreme duty to repair not only your pitch mark, but two others. And if you don’t make a pitch mark? Still, repair two.
• There will be no such thing as “in course” out of bounds. Not on my watch.
• Thank your superintendent for aerating; don’t snarl at him.
• Today is the day to make good on that promise to treat yourself to a journey into links. If you love the game, it simply has to be done. The Irish and the Scots will make sure you never forget it.
• Golf courses with four par 3s that play like short par 4s will be banned. One of the par 3s should measure less than 140 yards, two of them between 160-170, and it’s acceptable to have one, but only one, that is upwards of 200-210. When any legitimate list of the best par 3s in the world includes mostly those that are 100-140 yards, it sort of makes you wonder where we went astray.
• Oh, and finally, there will be one Twitter-free day a month. Heck, maybe there’d be two.