Golf doesn't matter. People matter. It's amazing how one big, bad hurricane could affect so many people -- all of us, really, unless you're kidding yourself into believing that we'll ever see gas under $3 per gallon again in our lifetimes.
The world will go on. Not easily, not quickly, not as cheaply and not without remembering those who suffered most, but it will go on. It always does.
Hurricane Katrina caused a massive amount of death and destruction. Although insignificant in the big picture, golf took a hit in the storm, too. As I said, golf doesn't matter, but since this is a golf page, well, that's what you're going to read about.
Katrina left the PGA Tour with a mixed bag of results. The Nationwide Tour Championship, set for Oct 24-30 in Prattville, Ala., suffered only minimal damage and will probably be played as scheduled. The PGA Tour's Southern Farm Bureau Classic, set for Madison, Miss., lost some 400-500 trees and should be playable as long as power is quickly restored. The PGA Tour's stop in New Orleans -- the Zurich Classic -- played for the first time this year at the newly-opened TPC of Louisiana, may also be in jeopardy. Katrina blew down cell phone towers and telephone lines. Try dialing any number in the 504 area code and all you get is a busy signal.
Let's start with the SFB Classic, the PGA Tour event held Oct. 3-9 opposite the World Golf Championships' American Express Championship. I talked with John Marovich of Bruno's Event Team, which runs the Nationwide Tour Championship and the Southern Farm Bureau Classic. The downed trees at Annandale Golf Club aren't the tournament's biggest problem.
"The main concern is there's still no power out there and the water system there is a pump system," Marovich said. "So we need electricity. Right now, we're trying to put water on the greens with trucks. If we can get power back on within 48 hours, we're fine. For the most part, we don't have big crews there. And with Mississippi being hit as hard as it has been, it's a manpower issue. We've got a lot of broken limbs hung up in trees -- we're trying to get bucket trucks and people to go up there and loosen limbs so we don't have a situation like the PGA Championship. We've got 95-degree heat and trying to keep the greens alive, 30 days out, without much water, is a concern. There's a good chance we'll get power back by this weekend. Anything longer than that is a concern. You can only do so much with handtrucks. We've got 18 holes with some pretty good-sized greens."