Posted: Wednesday August 24, 2005 11:30AM; Updated: Wednesday August 24, 2005 12:43PM
A country club membership can run you anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 a year. That, my friends, is a lot of dough. I laugh when people who belong to a country club brag about their golf scores. "Hey, I shot an 89 today!" Uh, I hope so. You have been playing the same course for 20 freaking years!
Compounding my hatred for golf is my inability to escape it. Whenever there is a significant tournament being played, it is on SportsCenter over and over. At the PGA Championship recently, a tree branch fell on the course and it was the lead story on CNN! Golf is also the most uselessly reported sport. Sports anchors are constantly telling me who is leading the event after the first day. It is often someone I have never heard of and often someone who finishes near the bottom of the leaderboard three days later.
Golf is the only sport that celebrates professionals who can no longer play competitively. The Seniors Tour would make me sad if I didn't see these grandfathers collecting huge checks. In what other sport would fans watch has-beens play? Football? Charles Haley slowly dragging Freeman McNeil to the turf doesn't get me too excited. Baseball? With apologies to Julio Franco, I find nothing interesting about senior baseball. "Joe Niekro fields the slow roller, tosses to Steve Balboni and Carney Lansford is retired!"
What I find the most disconcerting about golf is that kids can't play it. You may say that's not true, that any child can go to a course with his dad and play a few rounds. At $50 a pop I find that difficult to believe. All the other sports are inherent to the childhood experience. They are also easily and quickly taught. To play football all you do is hand one kid a ball and tell the others to maul him. Hilarity ensues. Basketball rims dot the country and one ball can service 10 kids at a time. How would a few children go about playing golf. I guess when they were done razing all the houses in their neighborhood and clearing the land of debris they could sculpt 18 holes. After the holes are dug they could get jobs, and after a few years the kids could buy some clubs and shoes.
It goes against the moral fiber of American culture to be better at something by scoring lower. My advice to all golfers who have a foursome planned for this weekend is to stay home and take a long nap. When you wake up you will be rested enough to go to the cemetery and visit those who played on last year's Senior Tour.