Golf on TV

There was a time when I could only groan when forced to watch sports on television. Since we had just one tv until I was a teenager I became resigned to watching one sporting event or another every weekend.

Depending on the season, Daddy had the old black and white RCA tuned to either football, baseball, basketball, or golf. I didn’t mind football as long as I could watch the Dallas Cowboys play, and back in the day the networks showed the bands performing during halftime.

Basketball was okay, as well, but baseball and golf were both good reasons to go outside and play. Occasionally, though, it was just too hot to spend time outdoors under the brutal Texas summer sun, and I’d end up watching the televised snooze fests with Daddy.

By far the worst was golf. The matches droned on and on while the announcers spoke in hushed voices that invited a good nap. I could read an entire book, put together a 750 piece jigsaw puzzle, and start another book in the course of a tournament. I’m sure my sighs conveyed my utter boredom and disgust, but Daddy couldn’t be coerced into switching to another program.

I learned who Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino were:

So imagine my surprise when I grew to enjoy watching golf on tv. Studly Doright and I spent most of this past weekend watching the U.S. Open, and I was as glued to the coverage as he was. It helps that our big screen television has vibrant color and surround sound making the experience much more satisfying than it was on the old black and white set.

Best of all I learned to enjoy watching the tournaments with my Dad before he passed away, and my years of forced watching with him gave me a knowledge of golf’s history that Studly is lacking. I rub his nose in my superiority occasionally, but mostly I just snuggle next to him on the sofa and we give the golfers tips on reading the greens. Sometimes they listen.

Congrats to Brooks Koepka for his back to back U.S. Open wins. He listened.

Peace, people.

Close Encounters of the Arnold Palmer Kind

As I listened to one celebrity after another pay tribute to the recently deceased golfer, Arnold Palmer, yesterday afternoon, I recalled my own brief encounter with this legend of the links. 

For Christmas one year I’d purchased club house passes for Studly Doright and my dad to Arnie’s Bay Hill tournament in Orlando, FL. We lived in Melbourne, FL, at the time, so we were only an hour away from the course. I have to confess that when I purchased the tickets a part of me was secretly hoping that I’d get to attend at least one day of the tournament. As it happened I ended up using the passes more than Studly and Daddy did. 

Now, I’m not a golfer. I’m the furthest thing from a golfer anyone could possibly imagine. But I grew up watching the great golfers on television with my dad, and Arnold Palmer almost seemed like a member of the family. So much so that when he walked up beside me as I sat in the lower stands on the tenth hole at Bay Hill and took a banana from a bowl near the tee box that I just smiled and nodded and he smiled and winked back before teeing off.

It wasn’t until later that it hit me I’d been in the presence of greatness. In retrospect I wish I’d said something witty or golfy, but maybe, just maybe he thought to himself, “That was one cool chick. I should have offered her part of my banana.” We will never know.