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The Nifty 50
Rick Reilly
July 02, 1990
Reasons to feel good about golf
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July 02, 1990

The Nifty 50

Reasons to feel good about golf

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Yo, golfers. come out of the sports closet. It's O.K. Bring those saddle shoes and fuzzy head covers with you. No need to hang your visors in shame. We have an announcement to make. Golf isn't dorky anymore. Golf is cool.

We're talking pants with actual belts and cotton shirts that won't start a three-alarm polyester fire. We're talking 3½-hour rounds and caddies. Golf carts are out. They're actually building golf courses where you can walk again.

Golf is a trip. Jack Nicklaus is 50 and could leg-wrestle you to death. George Bush plays golf. So does Alice Cooper. Cripes, Batman plays golf. Willie Nelson has his own course and his own tournament. Dork has never been within three counties of Willie Nelson.

Tennis? Tennis is over there in the Goodwill pile with jogging and Jazzercize. And if you don't believe us, check out this latest government report....


1) Lunch
Golf has this knack for lunch. Dinner, not so much, but lunch, golf knows. You've never had the lobster at the National Links? What about the snapper soup at Pine Valley? How about the artichoke soup in The Tap Room at Pebble Beach? What about the melt-in-your-mouth haddock that the bartender's wife whips up between 18s as you gaze out at the North Sea at Royal Dornoch in northern Scotland? No?

2) Twilight
Playing golf by yourself at twilight is just you, your swing, the ball, the tufts of sweet-smelling grass, the delicate squeak of your spikes in the elegantly mown, checkerboard fairway and the delight in watching a perfectly struck four-iron rise and fall against the pink sky. You can watch The Simpsons next week.

3) Jack Nicklaus

O.K., you knew Nicklaus was cool, but here are some cool things we bet you didn't know about him.

•If you call his house, he or his wife, Barbara, usually answers. They haven't changed their number in more than a decade.

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