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Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Jones’

Darkness and Light

The Masters is magical.  The Augusta National Golf Club always has their course in pristine condition for Mr. Jones’ grand old tournament.  The azaleas and dogwoods are in bloom and are gorgeous against the dark green hues of Georgia pines and freshly leafed deciduous trees and the closely mown fairways and putting greens.  The club membership rules the media with an iron fist, allowing only a certain number of minutes of advertising during each hour of telecasting.  The media adores the venue as they provide grand music on intros and exits and creative graphics and flowery words from color commentators, former players, and past champions.  Fans migrate to this special shining place in Georgia every year, and while it costs a mortgage payment to attend, once there the sites are profound, the food and drink is famously delicious and inexpensive, and the access to golf’s great past and present is awesome for the crowd who gather outside of the ropes.  It is golf’s Mecca.

But, as we stroll through the heavenly gates of this paradise and absorb the intended greatness and beauty we see an occasional dark smoky shadow pass through as profanity and ill-behavior come to the fore.  We watch in awe and wonder as one of the greatest golfers of all time goes to battle with the golf course, then wretch back instantly in revulsion when this same golfer spits a venomous God Damn It or throws his club and kicks it with disgust!  And we wonder, “Was I the only one to hear that? Was I the only one to see that?” as the commentators, former players, and past champions go on as if nothing happened.  Like a rotten seed in a bowl of rice, this warrior’s behavior belies the acts of a knight doing battle.  It is more recognizable as the rants of a frustrated toddler.  How do we cheer for this knight, rising from the depths of personal shame?  How do we enjoy his moments of brilliance when they are tainted with a continuing color of vulgarity and offensiveness?  We want to so badly, but he poisons his own well of greatness.  He is searching, that is clear.  It is not his golf swing that needs repair, but his soul.  The swing coaches of the world cannot help, others watching his motion cannot comment, he must look through his image in the mirror and find the real problems and seek to repair them.

Like King Arthur, we have come to both love and hate this bright knight Lancelot.  We abhor the darkness yet empathize and remain optimistic for his return to greatness and purity.

There are other dark clouds that waft around and through this mecca as well, they are waning, but still present and will be the subject of later discourse.

The Masters

Alright!  No mas!  Enough already with the Tiger analysis at the Masters!!!  Yeah, I was guilty with my post a couple of weeks ago, but that was my one, we all get one.  Now it seems we haves an endless stream of supposition and conjecture about Tiger on all channels carrying the Masters.  Sure, he’s the world’s number one golfer and has popularity parity with Michael Jordon, but DAMN, can we talk about something else? 

I love this tournament – The Masters.  I love the “cleanliness” of it.  It seems pure to me.  It came from the vision of arguably the greatest golfer that ever lived – Bobby Jones.  OK, it has had its problems not the least of which is the color barrier, now shattered.  OK, it’s one of those rich good ole boy exclusive clubs.  OK.  They can run their club anyway they want as far as I am concerned.  If you don’t like it, make millions and start your own club. 

It’s an “exclusive” tournament.  That is some of the beauty of it.   Only the best get to play.  It is a major coveted by all who would be a professional golfer and those amateurs who have earned a spot to play.  No other tournament portends sudden failure and filets so quickly the promising winner like The Masters.  Greg Norman comes to mind.  We watch on the edge of our seats because of it.   The greens are so treacherous. There isn’t any rough to speak of, there doesn’t need to be.  Opportunity knocks even if you aren’t on the fairway.  The danger exists nearest the goal – the hole.  The wrong part of the green, too short or too much spin and you’re in Rae’s Creek, too long and you’re chipping downhill from the azaleas onto an unforgiving surface.  It is about the short game.  The touch and feel.  Even the shortest putt makes us hold our breath.  Watching a ball as is ekes out another quarter inch to fall in as a result of a 90 degree off-line chip is the magic.  Watching the heartbreak of missing the final putt to win – Kenny – is the magic.  Watching someone chip in to win from nowhere is the magic.  I love it.  (I’m sorry about Kenny – he’s a Kentucky boy like me.)

I am happy Jack is going to do the ceremonial thing with Arnie.  He was never going to do that, but now he is…good. 

I have Ernie doing well, high on my list to win.  Tiger is an outside chance –but haven’t we heard all of the possible scenarios about him twelve times over already?  Anthony Kim is coming off a win – is there a young gun out there who will challenge the established players?  The dark horse for me is Retief Goosen.  Something tells me they’ll be eating South African fare next year one way or another.