The big mistake that we as golfers are making is that we look at golf in isolation from the rest of our lives. And if we do think about golf in that context we generally don’t go any further than complaining that the rest of our lives cuts into the time we have for golfing.
Well let’s change that. Let’s use golf to look at the rest of the world and when that’s gets tiresome, turn the lens the other way and look at golf from some different perspectives.
First up: golf and politics. Why start with this one? Well it seemed timely. Obama and Boehner are teeing it up on Fathers Day weekend. So here’s a list of questions and comments about that outing:
1. Stuff you might not know: Supposedly Barry plays to about a 16 and John is a 6. (This is according to a 2008 list of the top 100 golfers in DC). But here’s a wager for you: betcha Boehner’s number has gone up since he had to start dealing with the Tea Partiers in his ranks.
2. Stuff you might want to know: does Boehner cry out on the course?
3. Other stuff you might want to know: who else is playing? I’ve got some suggestions. Tiger’s free that weekend. And for a fourth? How about the Donald? Now that’s a foursome. If I was a honcho at the Golf Channel I’d blow off the Big Break in a heartbeat and film that match.
4. Other stuff I want to know: What’s the Tea Party position on handicaps? Are they yet another example of bureaucratic oppression and interference with golfers’ rights to establish their own terms of competition? Handicaps are definitely redistributive: somebody who has more of something (in this case, skill at golf) has to give assistance to somebody who has less. If they really wanted to get worked up about it they could frame handicaps as a way of punishing people for their success: because you’ve worked so hard on your game The Man is telling you that you have to help out somebody who probably hasn’t worked as hard on theirs.
5. No, they’re not going to resolve policy differences by having a match. But wouldn’t it be cool if they did? “Alright, we’re playing front, back and total, three trillions, auto presses.”
6. Don’t you think Alexander Hamilton is looking down from wherever and saying to himself, “Man, I wish I had had that option.”
7. Golfer they most resemble: Obama: Really? You were unsure who I was going to suggest? Boehner: Fuzzy Zoeller.
8. What they think about Tiger: Obama: a guy going through a rough time personally and professionally. Boehner: hopefully a leading indicator.
9. When metaphors really work: If this outing were to symbolize how these two should work together both players would have to hit a draw. Think about it (and remember that, of course, Obama is a lefty).