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When I get into my car, an alarm goes "bong, bong, bong" to remind me that I haven't fastened my seat belt. When I fly on a commercial airliner, a person checks a computer to tell me which seat to take once I'm on the plane. And the plane itself is capable of taking off, flying to its destination and landing, all on computer command, I'm told.
I know all about the addiction of youngsters to computer video games. At airports, terminal doors slide open automatically without being touched. You don't even need a gun to rob a bank anymore. The job is already being done by computer.
The computer age makes me uneasy. I've never won a serious argument with a zipper, much less an electronic gadget. But whenever I felt threatened, I could escape to the golf course.
Except for arranging starting times at large resorts, and, of course, the ringing of cash registers and the operation of golf carts, golf has been spared the onslaught of electronics.
Until now, that is. Any day now, thanks to Burington, Inc. of Elkhart, Ind. it's going to be possible to rent a Video Caddy, a videotape recorder attached to a golf cart that will film your shots during a round and allow you to see an instant replay on a 7�-inch color screen right there in the cart. It's already available for purchase by anyone with $2,350.
I maintain it's the worst idea since the invention of the triple bogey.
It already takes about five hours to play a round on a busy day. With the introduction of the Video Caddy, we're talking about a move into prime time since rounds will probably last well into the evening hours.
I can see it now. Ol' Wally's going to focus his videotape recorder on his ball, get set to hit and think, "I wonder if my hair's combed."
While he's trying to hit, the other members of his foursome will be standing behind him, waving at the camera. You know they will. Television has demonstrated that there's not one in a thousand Americans who can resist waving at a live camera. If there's an ounce of ham in ol' Wally, which there is in most of us, sooner or later he's going to be standing there over a shot, a smile is going to creep across his face, and he's going to drop his club, start humming Me and My Shadow and go into a soft shoe right there on the tee. Then one of his partners will barge in front of him and start doing Cagney or Bogart ("Play the front nine again, Sam") and then sing My Way with a big finish that can be heard all the way to the clubhouse. Keep in mind that the Video Caddy also records sound.
Wally will hit a shot that looks like a rat running an out pattern, and he'll race over to the cart to watch the replay. He'll say, "What was wrong with that swing?" and somebody in his group, looking over his shoulder at the screen, will say, "It looked like Phyllis Diller falling down the stairs. But you had good extension."