Something tells the The Masters isn't off to a very good start.
April 11, 2002 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Stroke victims are funny.
Wait... I guess there are two stroke victims in this story...

posted by dong_resin at 9:36 AM on April 11, 2002

Who cares about golf.
posted by MaddCutty at 9:39 AM on April 11, 2002

dong_resin: Low, man....real low

I love it :-)
posted by JaxJaggywires at 9:40 AM on April 11, 2002

i didn't know Sam Snead was still alive....i learned how to golf using my dad's old Sam Snead Championship clubs. Great clubs, those.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:49 AM on April 11, 2002

The fact that he still gets out there is nice and all, but we all have to know when to quit. I work for someone who is WAY past retirement age and needs to just stop pretending to work and start enjoying retired life. These people may have been amazing in their prime, and their prime may have lasted many years, but why not just quit gracefully instead of embarrassing yourself? Next time he might really hurt someone, or hurt his own pride and miss the ball altogether. What is it that makes these men insist upon sticking around no matter what?

Oh and dong_resin, as usual I laughed aloud at your comment...
posted by rio at 9:56 AM on April 11, 2002

The local equivalent to the legendary Sam Snead is the equally legendary Johnny Kelley, who won the Boston Marathon in 1935 and 1945 - and also continued running the race every year, straight through until 1992.

I remember seeing him go by in '92. It was cold and miserable, and the poor man looked like he was ready to die. The crowd, of course, cheered his every step, but I remember thinking how horrible it would have been if he'd fallen down dead on the road. The next year, everyone concerned convinced him that it would be better if he didn't try to run the entire race, and just do a ceremonial stretch at the end of the course. That stretch kept getting shorter, and I don't think he's run any at all the last few years.

Maybe it's time for the folks in Augusta to take the same tack, and convince Sammy that he doesn't actually need to hit the ball to take the first ceremonial tee shot of the Masters.
posted by yhbc at 10:08 AM on April 11, 2002

MadCutty, I imagine that there are many golfers in the mefi community. Count me as one of them.
Golf is a unique game for many reasons. One that I find most fascinating is the ratio of the playing field to the goal. In no other game will you range so far and wide to reach such a small target.
Of course, in this case, Sam slammed a different target.
posted by gnz2001 at 10:14 AM on April 11, 2002

maybe they should stop playing at that racist course.
posted by tsarfan at 10:27 AM on April 11, 2002

"hello, my name is modge. i play golf..."

"welcome, modge!"

i, for one, would be honored to get smacked in the face by a legend like sam snead. c'mon, he "played in his first masters in 1937..." !

but yeah, if he needs help teeing the ball, now might be the time to bow out gracefully.
posted by modge at 10:29 AM on April 11, 2002

That's unfortunate, but maybe that spectator patron will get an autograph or note from Sam Snead. (The uppity "men of the Masters" prefer the term "patron" over "spectator" or, God forbid, referring to many patrons as a "crowd".)

For any MeFi'er who does care about golf, check out this SportsFilter thread about the Masters, which I started the other day to prognosticate the contenders for the green jacket.

And feel free to continue this (and other sports & golf) discussions here on MeFi, as always.
posted by msacheson at 10:32 AM on April 11, 2002

If I were Sam, I'd want to die on the lush fairways of Augusta National.
Yes, the membership of Augusta National does have some antiquated notions of semantics. Gary McCord was banned from doing the CBS telecast for referring to a group of "patrons" as a "mob".
posted by gnz2001 at 10:35 AM on April 11, 2002

Whatever resentment of golf there is in these parts, I think justly arises from the game's being a living breathing connection with the exclusionary bad old days. How many times in the last twenty years have we heard of golf clubs being forced to admit blacks, Jews, women? Lots. And how many schools, workplaces, baseball diamonds? None.

Hopefully this part of the story is closing for golf, but it's still a pretty exclusionary affair in the business world. If you don't like/play golf you get shut out of a lot of easy face time with people who could help your career. The culture just doesn't allow for non-golfers.

Fortunately, I guess, it's easier to learn to like golf than to change skin color, gender or religion. (However, it's still easier to do all those things than to be GOOD at golf.)
posted by luser at 10:57 AM on April 11, 2002

Gary McCord was banned from doing the CBS telecast for referring to a group of "patrons" as a "mob".

...and saying the greens were so fast they were bikini-waxed...and saying the mounds behind a green were where the bodies were buried (he meant that if a player's shot ended up back there, he was dead...but it sure didn't come out right).
posted by msacheson at 11:00 AM on April 11, 2002

Hmm. If I paid $225 US to watch people practise(!), I'd call myself an addict. Perhaps they can compromise with motivated customer
posted by haqspan at 11:01 AM on April 11, 2002

Whatever resentment of golf there is in these parts, I think justly arises from the game's being a living breathing connection with the exclusionary bad old days.

Speaking as someone who lives roughly 20 miles away from where the Masters is presently taking place, my resentment of golf arises mostly from the fact that all local TV focuses on the Masters ("Blah blah blah terrorism blah blah blah suicide bombers blah blah, and now, the Masters!" *gag*), plus we get all the overflow tourists from Augusta.

That, and golf has to be the most boring sport known to man.
posted by zztzed at 11:13 AM on April 11, 2002

As far as luser's comment goes, I lived in Augusta for the last 4 years, before coming to college, and "this part of the story" isn't closing for golf, at least not in Augusta.

The way you get tickets to the Masters is still based on the good ol' boy system, you have your family name on a list. This is why some people get tickets (to the actual event, not practice rounds) because their great-grandfather's name is on the list. These people usually sell the tickets which is how non-exclusive people can get in.

In addition, the Augusta Country Club (rich white guy club for golf) doesn't allow black members (or members of any minority for that matter, even women i think). But they do let them work there (big surprise).

I'm not a big fan of golf, as you could probably tell. Mostly because this kind of stuff makes me sick and I want no part of it.
posted by untuckedshirts at 11:24 AM on April 11, 2002

George Carlin once compared golf to watching flies fuck.
He claimed to get more excited picking out socks.
posted by dong_resin at 11:24 AM on April 11, 2002

Yes, golf has an exclusionary past. It even has an exclusionary present. In fact, there were more black guys on the tour in the 80s than there are now. That sucks, but there are people trying to do something about it. The PGA of America, The Tiger Woods Foundation and others are dedicated to the goal of supporting inner-city youth in golf. These are changes that are a long time coming, and will still take some work. But luser is right, making these changes is a lot easier than becoming good at golf. It's a difficult game. That's part of the fun, and what makes it decidedly most NOT boring for those who pursue it.
posted by gnz2001 at 11:29 AM on April 11, 2002

''That little boy is driving well and he's putting well. You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it, and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.''
--Fuzzy Zoeller (with cocktail in hand) to reporters after Tiger won the '97 masters

as fucking disturbing as that comment was and is, i think it may have helped to expose the racist good ol' boy mentality that clearly still exists in golf to those who would like to pretend otherwise.

and for zztzed: i rock climb, skateboard, ride motocross, snowboard, ski, and have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. i don't think golf is boring at all. to each his own, i suppose. (i can, however, understand how you would be annoyed by the media blitz and tourist invasion due to having the Masters in your backyard.)
posted by modge at 11:31 AM on April 11, 2002

Hell yea, I wouldn't want to live in Bearsville, NY when the Woodstock music fest is held, either.
Yea, Fuzzy. What a dope.
posted by gnz2001 at 11:38 AM on April 11, 2002

untuckedshirts: "In addition, the Augusta Country Club (rich white guy club for golf) doesn't allow black members (or members of any minority for that matter, even women i think). But they do let them work there (big surprise)."

Um, wrong. I'm not saying they're the paragon of inclusion, but get your facts straight.

By the way, I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to the 2000 Masters -- it is every bit as beautiful as you can imagine. I can't wait for this weekend -- it's like my version of the Super Bowl.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:00 PM on April 11, 2002

untuckedshirts, I went back and noticed that you were referencing the Augusta Country Club, not Augusta National Golf Club (where the Masters is held). I don't know about Augusta Country Club -- you may be right. But lest anyone is confused, Augusta National Golf Club does have black members, and has for years.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:02 PM on April 11, 2002

ahem... a family guy history on the origins of golf:

Angus : Right, so we're all clear on the rules, then? No Jews, and no Blacks.

All : Aye!
posted by lotsofno at 12:43 PM on April 11, 2002

Amazing. The power of metafilter. A simple post regarding an aging golfer's errant shot, turns into another diatribe against racism.
posted by gnz2001 at 1:19 PM on April 11, 2002

Off-topic: One of my favorite posted rules in a clubhouse comes from Gleneagles (public gc) in San Francisco:
"Shirts required (for men only)"
posted by G_Ask at 2:09 PM on April 11, 2002

having lived in augusta all my life and living geographically right between the country club and the national, i've developed a hatered for the sport and for the social community it represents. untuckedshirts is right about the country club not having any members other than the wealthy white males of augusta. as for the masters and local tv, radio, newspaper, magazines, etc., zztzed is correct, everything has to do with the masters. even obscure unrelated shit like door to door insurance salesmen and the family laundries try to cash in by somehow including the phrase "2002 masters" in their ads or whatever. traffic is MURDER. try going to the store to buy milk during masters week. you have to pretend its a hurricane or nuclear war coming and stock up. luckily, schools are out for spring break that week, or it would be even worse.
i worked for the masters last year and the year before. there is certainly a severe element of bourgeoisie starch there. anyway, as much as i can relate to golf as being as boring as "watching flies fuck," it is a beautiful course and augusta really does benefit from the influx of tourist money. now if only our damn worthless city commissioners could agree on how to usefully spend the small portion of this money that they dont siphon off into their own pockets...
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 2:13 PM on April 11, 2002

I guess we should just be glad Sam isn't an aging race-car driver.

My humble opinion: golf courses and cemetaries are neck and neck for the title of 'Biggest Waste of Perfectly Good Parkland.' Fry the corpses and let the good ol' boys congregate at the Putt-Putt.
posted by umberto at 2:33 PM on April 11, 2002

Better yet, bury the corpses behind the greens, creating challenging mounds, and saving MORE parkland for golf.
posted by gnz2001 at 2:39 PM on April 11, 2002

I think one of the allures of golf is that it's the only sport you can play by yourself. Well, along with spank the monkey that is...
posted by Mack Twain at 3:48 PM on April 11, 2002

Just because Augusta is full of elitist bigots, don't let that give you a bad image of golf in general. I dare you to go to K-mart, buy a sub-$200 set of clubs, spend a semi-drunken afternoon at the local public course and not have any fun.

I suck at golf, but when I go to some public hacking grounds I feel the the second coming of Ben Jones. I just don't feel comfortable on courses where a guy is in the tee box without a tank top and sandals on and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Good, clean, and somewhat idiotic fun.
posted by ttrendel at 4:10 PM on April 11, 2002

And even when you are playing in a tournament, you are playing by yourself. There's no defense. If you don't do well, you have no one but yourself to blame, no fullback blocked your shot, no one stick checks you. You're your own best ally, or enemy, and the game calls on every ounce of character and skill and spirit that you have.
posted by gnz2001 at 4:13 PM on April 11, 2002

Yea, and you can play it drunk. Try THAT with tennis.
posted by gnz2001 at 4:15 PM on April 11, 2002

I suck at golf, but when I go to some public hacking grounds I feel the the second coming of Ben Jones. I just don't feel comfortable on courses where a guy is in the tee box without a tank top and sandals on and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Good, clean, and somewhat idiotic fun.

I tried it a couple of times. My biggest achievement was hitting a really old guy and knocking him down.

We used to go play on a course in San Jose called T-Bird, that had rusted out cars in the water hazards, and where I was once chased by a pit bull that lived in a neighboring junkman house a la Sanford and Son. I never felt comfortable at any "real" course and to be honest I don't think I'd really want to.

I wouldn't mind taking out some more old guys though.

*Wham!*_------------------- !ow!

Hide the beer, man!
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:36 PM on April 11, 2002

There's an old joke:
Old couple are playing and they're going a bit slow, holding up the field. The man says to his wife, "Honey, you go hit from the women's tee and I'll hit from the men's tee at the same time, that outta speed things up." Well, the old gal is a little frightened by this prospect, "But you'll hit me," she says. "No Honey, I'll be careful," he replies. So they go ahead and work with that plan. Sure enough, the guy hits his wife in the temple with a hooked drive, and she drops dead. The coroner is looking over the corpse, and says, "Well, obviously this woman died from a severe blunt-force trauma to the right temple. But one thing I can't figure out is, what is this other golf ball doing embedded 6" up her anus?" The old guy sheepishly says, "Well, I took a mulligan."
posted by gnz2001 at 4:42 PM on April 11, 2002

*wrenching thread back to topic*

Snead (& Nelson & Runyan) didn't hit those ceremonial first drives because they "insist upon sticking around no matter what". They did it because the fans insisted on it. If you don't care about golf you won't get it. That's Sam Snead up there, and before Byron Nelson, too. Nelson may be the only twentieth-century sporting figure to hold a record that is truly and utterly uniquely his for the ages, one that no one will ever come close to breaking, not Tiger, not anyone: eleven PGA tournament wins in row. Admittedly, the game has changed an awful lot since then, but in a way that makes what those guys did so much more mind-boggling. Imagine what Slammin' Sammy Snead (or, better yet, Ben Hogan) could have done with a graphite-shafted titanium-thin-faced-oversize driver instead of a piece of hickory......

I'm with you, pardonyou?, this is us golf nuts Super Bowl weekend. Except our game lasts for four straight days. My wife refers to it as the "TV-golf-orgy weekend". But she's in a better mood after a couple of mimosas and egg salad sandwiches.....
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:08 PM on April 11, 2002

bitteroldpunk, you should taste the egg salad sandwiches they sell at the Masters. And only $1.50! (But no mimosas, alas).

And I should let this "elitist" crap just die, but this always bugs me. If you don't like the culture, don't blame the sport. The sport has nothing to do with it -- it's hitting a small white ball with a club and trying to get it in a hole. If you want to change the image of the sport, take it up yourself. And in any event, if you don't play, you really don't have an accurate perception of the average golfer in America. The average golfer does not belong to a country club, but rather plays at one of thousands of public golf courses across the country, including in all major urban cities. If you want to dispel your elitism argument in about two seconds, go play Rouge Park Golf Course in Detroit. Excellent course, blue collar (at best) clientele.

*dismounts soapbox*
posted by pardonyou? at 7:42 PM on April 11, 2002

Amen, pardonyou?. I've actually played that course. It was by far my best memory of Detroit. Soggy fairways. Slow greens. Very relaxed. That is heaven in my book.
posted by ttrendel at 11:27 PM on April 11, 2002

« Older Quark Star and Strange Quark Matter   |   New Missile Defense angle: blow everything out of... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments