Ruining a Great Old Game



An iconic golf course in our town is being converted into a park. Sandra’s father and brother used to play there. Her dad, Buster, was a pro and her brother, David, played on the University of Florida team.

I wonder what Buster would have to say about the closing of the old golf complex?

To me, it signals a sad trend – the waning popularity of golf as a recreational sport. Courses are closing all over the country, I understand.

The people entrusted with keeping the flame of golf alive are desperately trying to get more public involvement. They’re relying on ad campaigns like “Play Nine” and “While We’re Young,” for example. You may have seen the ads.

But the public is having none of it. They aren’t playing golf, and I bet they aren’t watching it the way they used to, either.

One reason, of course, is that with the absence of Tiger Woods, there is no superstar to inspire us hackers. But the officials who control the game are also to blame.

I know I didn’t enjoy watching the US Open over the weekend. It was obviously torture for the players and it made me uncomfortable watching them struggle. What was even worse was that silliness about penalizing Dustin Johnson because his ball wobbled backwards on a super-slick green.

And waiting until after the round to tell him whether he would be penalized. What was that all about?

Golf is just too much trouble today with super-long courses, cement hard greens and bumbling officials. And those silly nit-picking rules make the game even less appealing.

With governing bodies like the USGA, what used to be a grand old sport is becoming a pain in the wherever. I’m sure the ancient Scots who invented the game meant it to be fun, not an ordeal – even to watch.