FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Golf is a Pussy Game

by DAVID MACARAY

By all accounts, the most difficult thing to do in sports is hit a moving baseball.  Virtually every sports writer who ever lived agrees with that observation.  The ball is traveling at upwards of 95 mph.  You’re standing approximately 60 feet away.  The 5.25 ounce sphere reaches you in less than seven-tenths of a second.  Sometimes the pitch curves, sometimes it sinks, sometimes it hops.  You’re trying to hit a round object with a round club.

If you’re talented and fortunate enough to play in the Majors for 12-15 years, and you’re able to hit safely 3 out of every 10 times at bat, you have a good chance of not only being recognized as one of the game’s true stars, but of eventually being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Think about that.  You regularly fail 7 out of 10 times during your entire career, yet you’re still celebrated as one of the greatest players of all-time.  That’s how difficult baseball is.

But there’s another component to the art of hitting.  It’s called courage.  Not only do you have to instantaneously decide if the pitch is a fastball or breaking ball, a ball or a strike, you have to be aware that the object coming at you at close to 100 mph could hit you in the face, possibly crippling you, or even ending your career.  And you have to deal with these variables on every single pitch, during every single at-bat.

Add to all of this the ear-splitting noise being generated by a hostile crowd. You’re at the plate, your team is behind by one run in the ninth inning, there’s a runner on second base, there are two out, and the count is 2-2.  You’re in the batter’s box, scared spitless, being asked to do what is universally recognized as the most difficult thing in sports.

If there was ever a time that an athlete needed peace and quiet in order to concentrate on the task at hand, this is it.  But the crowd noise is so loud, so shrill, it approaches the decibel level of a jet engine.  It’s deafening.  These rabid fans are literally screaming themselves hoarse, all 60,000 of them.  Indeed, the stadium itself, solid and well-anchored in tons of cement as it is, is actually ever-so-slightly rocking.

Now let’s consider golf.  A pro golfer stands over a two-foot putt.  The gallery is dead silent.  The golfer studies the ball.  The crowd inhales; no one dares exhale. Then, just as he’s about to strike the ball, some guy in the crowd sneezes.  The golfer abruptly straightens up, steps away, and glares at the man.  People shush the hapless sneezer, who cringes in humiliation.  A moment later, with the gallery once again silent, the golfer taps the ball in.  Applause.

Why is no one permitted to scream during golf?  After all, it’s a sports event, isn’t it?  You paid your way in, didn’t you?  Why is no one allowed to shout at the top of their lungs, “Hey, mister! You’re going to miss it!”  But if you pull a stunt like that, the marshals escort you right off the course.  Still, what makes golfers so special?

Are these guys so refined that wisecracks and booing from the audience is going to give them the heebie-jeebies?  For crying out loud, the ball isn’t even moving.  It’s just sitting there.  You stare at it for as long as you like, then you wind up and hit it.  Simple as that.  Unlike baseball, it’s not suddenly going to fly up, hit you in the face, and shatter your cheekbone.

Granted, golf takes ability and finesse.  No one’s denying that.  But if baseball players can do their thing with tens of thousands of hostile fans urging them to fail, golfers should be able to handle hecklers.  “Hey, Tiger….you’re going to land in the sand trap! Har, har, har.”  If these PGA dilettantes can’t take the pressure of hostile crowds, let ‘em stick with miniature golf.

DAVID MACARAY, an LA playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor”), was a former union rep.   He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press.  He can be reached at dmacaray@earthlink.net

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is “Nightshift: 270 Factory Stories.” He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

More articles by:
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail