After a long absence, Why We Golf is back at you with some random observations in the wake of the past eleven days during which my hometown, San Francisco, was the center of the golf world.
First off, as for hitting it like a girl, God how I wish I could! I was an on-course marshal for some of the leaders’ threesomes for the weekend rounds of the Swinging Skirts, hosted for the second consecutive year at my club, Lake Merced Golf Club. I walked with Lydia Ko’s group on Saturday and on Sunday I followed Ryu, Kim and Sandra Gal. Yeah, I understand that Rory and the other Big Boys really bomb it but in certain respects it is more impressive to see these women, some of them quite small in stature, hit it as far as they do. This isn’t golf as a demonstration of strength as much as an expression of what can be accomplished if all the movement in a golf swing is coordinated exactly. It’s a bit of choreography in which movement, tempo and balance are in harmony. It’s really impressive….But, having said that, I’m not so sure that I want to putt like a girl. Except for Lydia, I didn’t see anybody really make any….Back over at Harding this past weekend, the Westside of SF put on a bit of a climate display: positively glorious on Thursday, but then by Saturday as windswept and cold as Patagonia. In a way it made sense that the two winners on Sunday afternoon, McIlroy and Willett, were from the British Isles. They likely felt right at home…And I think I speak for all San Franciscan golfers when I say that it was real fun to see our brand of golf on display for the world during these past two weekends. Like anything in life, we get accustomed to the familiar, but one of the weird things about television is that it becomes a form of validation: if it’s on TV, then almost by definition something becomes special, and seeing our courses on center stage helped put them in a perspective where we could, if not rediscover, then re-appreciate them. Theirs is a special look: the tilt and cant of their fairways, the towering cypress trees that look like underwater plants with their long trunks and sculpted canopies, the ripe juiciness of their rough. And then there are the things that even the best players in the world can’t see, specifically the little breaks and tilts on the putting surface, the invisible tugs and pulls that commentators call subtle and that we players find so frustrating and at times infuriating…And speaking of television, I don’t think I need to see that Cadillac ad with Wozniak and the Asian fashion designer ever again. Like not once more. That’s it.
And on a final note, after listening to him over the weekend, Johnny Miller has finally inspired me. It’s true.We all know that golfer fantasy question, “Who would be in your dream foursome?” It’s the one where the conventional answer is your dad (if you played with him), Jack or Walter Hagen or Lee Trevino. You know the drill. Well, what about your nightmare foursome? Who would be in that group? I know Johnny’s in mine. Can you imagine playing with him? I can hear him now: “It’s a simple putt, really.” “Why did he do that now?” “That is not where you want to be.” And on and on. To be honest, I’m not quite sure about the rest of the group. Lucas Glover is in the running, just because he looks like such a miserable son-of-a-bitch, but I’m having a hard time coming up with a fourth. Any suggestions?