The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." "...it is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32) akakyakakyevich@gmail.com

Thursday, June 24, 2004

EXPANDING GOLF'S AUDIENCE: As you may know, a bolt of lightning struck nineteen golfers in Colorado recently, careening from man to man before finally disappearing into the earth. Now the uninformed reader may suspect that, while golf is not an inherently exciting game, using lightning to pique spectator interest may not be the best way to gain an audience. To begin with, lightning is not very dependable; one can hardly schedule thunderstorms to coincide with the Masters or the U. S. Open. And lightning is also unfair, subjecting taller players to greater risk than shorter players; the constant use of lightning in golf will lead inevitably to a game played only by dwarves, just as professional basketball today is a sport that can only really be played by the very tall (yes, I know; there are short guys in the NBA, but they are the exception, not the rule). Everyone is playing the same game so the risks should be the same for everyone.

How to achieve this? There are a few simple ways to increase golf’s interest factor. Australian saltwater crocodiles in the water obstacles are a good way to begin. Those things are huge and watching Vijay Singh running like hell to avoid getting eaten would certainly spark my interest in the game. One possible disadvantage, though: it would encourage Steve Irwin to take up golf. However, if you like Steve Irwin then the crocs are an advantage, and golf on Animal Planet could introduce the game to a whole new group of possible enthusiasts. If crocodiles are not to your liking, then golf courses could stock the water obstacles with piranhas. Similarly, mining the sand traps or placing snipers in the trees would provide opportunities for sports bettors that do not exist today and would allow more second rank golfers to get on the leader board than is possible under the current rules. Or one could simply electrify the rough and share the burdens of electrocution equally. In any case, golf's change from a tepid middle class game to a full fledged extreme sport will certainly increase the game's audience and lead to more people taking up golf, which will, in due course, lead directly to an increase in the PGA's revenues.
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