Golf

I’ve taken up watching the Golf Channel. Everything about it is peaceful. The pace of the play is slow, the announcers speak in hushed tones, the fans on the course clap in a quiet and respectful manner, and even the ads are calmly presented in a reassuring way.

The best time to watch this channel is on a weekend afternoon. Stretch out on the couch and soon you’ll be well into a wonderful nap. Don’t concern yourself with leaving the TV on. Nothing they do or say on the Golf Channel will wake you.

I used to play golf. Over a ten year span I played most every weekend, even taking lessons from time to time. My game improved only slightly, rarely breaking 100. I finally gave up. It became painfully obvious I was never destined to be interviewed on the Golf Channel.

Even as the rules change, and star players come and go, the one constant in golf over the years is the approach taken by the equipment manufacturers. Periodically, each manufacturer picks some club that needs a boost in sales, retools it, and then touts it as the best-ever club produced. Nothing can top this new design. A putter is redesigned with an amazing new “mid-core, hard/soft, slant sweet spot technology” that will result in dramatically fewer putts. The driver has a new military aircraft-grade aluminum heel that generates exceptional power on liftoff from the tee and thus far greater distance than one can imagine. Or the sand wedge has a razor-sharp leading edge that now slices through sand particles, bringing about near perfect accuracy. In each case, at this very moment, this is the best club ever built, going light years beyond what was produced just a year or two ago.

The manufacturers are hoping you will forget two things. First, they told you two years ago every club, for different reasons, was the best-ever. If they really weren’t, why didn’t the manufacturer use this year’s improvements back then? It’s not like they’re working with new metals just arriving from Mars.

Second and more important, it’s likely you, the golfer, haven’t improved at all. You still have the same crappy back swing, the same off-balance foot placement, and you still keep lifting your head to see where the ball went even before hitting it. In other words, you still suck. And these new, even more expensive clubs will have no impact on your game.

  No, the only area in golf requiring constant improvement is golf carts. Cart builders should focus on launching new models every year with huge increases in speed. Talk about helpful. This way players can get through the misery of 18 holes quicker and back home sooner for a Golf Channel nap.