Yesterday, as I turned on the U.S. Open (only because it was being played in Wisconsin – for some unexplained reason I needed to see what Wisconsin looks like on national television.), I was reminded why I don’t watch golf on television. No, it wasn’t because the pace moves slower than most glaciers. It wasn’t because of the sleep inducing hushed tones of the announcers. It wasn’t because of the silence from the crowd that is demanded by the middle-aged millionaire “athletes” while they line up their shots and wiggle their butts, not the righteous indignation that is suffered should an unfortunate soul in the gallery so much as sniffle, while 18 year old boys in the NCAA basketball tournament, with the national title and billions of dollars to the school on the line, have to stand at the foul line and make free throws with an entire student body screaming and waving flags straight in their faces. It’s not the ugly slacks and shirts and general lack of understanding of seemingly simple fashion concepts like color coordination or basic good taste. It’s not even the fact that Rosie O’Donnell was correct when she summarized golf as “men in bad pants walking.”
All of these transgressions would be forgivable, especially when one considers that after fifty some mind numbing years of watching television, my attention span has shortened to the height of a leg-less midget and I’ll stop and watch anything that has a shiny object, let alone a little white ball that’s being swept on a green carpet by men in orange pants, rolling across the screen in hypnotic rhythms until it drops into a cup. That, my friend, is compelling television. So there must be a reason I won’t watch televised golf.
Is it the big corporation sponsorship and the commercials for the Wall Street banks that drone on and on about such foreign subjects as “wealth management” and maximizing one’s “investment portfolio?” Is it the ads for luxury S.U.V.s and sports cars that cost more than my house? No, it’s not even these things, or the fact that most Republicans love the sport almost as much as they love discriminating against minorities or making money off of and then screwing over poor people. Compared to how they usually get their kicks, watching golf on television is pretty benign.
So if it’s none of these things that make watching golf on television an intolerable torture, then what is it? Well, I’ll tell you what it is …
It’s the guy in the audience, who, as soon as the ball is struck, yells out, “Get in the hole!”
Can there be a bigger moron in the world than this? On every shot, be it the tee off of a 600 yard plus par five or a two inch tap in, some idiot is compelled to yell this out. Whether they believe that their shouts have the power to override the laws of time and physics and will the universe to act in accordance with their shouted words isn’t clear; the only assumption I can make is that somewhere sometime long ago, someone shouted these words and the ball actually did get in the hole. Once. Many years ago. Hasn’t happened since. Yet still the yellers persist.
These yellers somehow strictly embrace the code of silence and the polite “golf-clapping” etiquette that is expected of them otherwise, yet once the ball is struck, something inside demands that they scream out their four word mantra at the top of their lungs. It’s as if they are saying, I paid my thousand dollars to watch this agonizingly slow spectacle unfold, I have to do something to keep myself awake. Maybe screaming unsuccessfully at a little white ball to “get in the hole” reminds them of their sex life (note: it is always male voices you hear shouting this, and there is always a hint of frustrated inadequacy in them that would be consistent with the Republican male that completes the profile of the typical golf enthusiast.)
And it’s only a Republican male that would be shallow and self-confident enough to so brazenly advertise their stupidity. Believing in “get in the hole” with no record of success would be consistent with believing in things like “trickle-down economics” or that climate change is a hoax.
So, golf fanatic, please carry on and enjoy your lunatic ranting and raving. Just do it without me. I’ll be searching the airwaves for the next televised bowling match.