After Columbia How Can We Swing a Club
After Saturday, will we ever again look at a shooting star without a twinge? How do we keep ourselves together, thinking of the astronauts spouses and children? The blessing, and curse, of our daily routines is that they enable us to go on while carrying the burden of knowing what happened in the last moments of that shooting star, 40 miles up.
And in all this, how do we swing a golf club?
Although the magnitude of the tragedy is far less when measured in human life and evil intention, the Columbia disaster is one more chapter in our national education about whats important, and how Americans behave when they have to live under pressure. I dont intend to soft-pedal the unfathomable loss the friends and family of the crew feel. But it is possible to see Saturdays awful events as another burden tossed onto the stress-heap that already includes September 11, likely North Korean aggression, and the endless wait for war in Iraq.
Fitting golf into all this may be an impossible, and perhaps disrespectful, task. The industry deserves credit for realizing after September 11 that golf doesnt amount to much in the face of such problems.
But what about the future? For three years, the golf industry has met every November at the Golf 20/20 conference to discuss ways to grow a game suffering from chronic flatness. While the participants, representatives of every private and public sector power in the game, have agonized over what to do and how to pay for it, individual companies such as Nike have worked on developing initiatives of their own. Other companies are sure to follow.
But for now, water and feed it as we might, golf wont grow.
Can it, in such an environment? Golf is still trying to shake its rich-white-man stigma; it does not yet attract the masses to play it, although its No. 1 star attracts them to watch it. The Augusta National gender controversy isnt helping.
There may be some actual guilt about participating in such a game at such a time, just as there was shortly after September 11. It may seem indulgent. Golf is not the same as going out back and shooting hoops for a while. Theres no point behaving as if it is.
Perhaps golf needs a new approach in a troubled world. We need to beat the time issue, both in terms of speed of play and the total time it takes to participate in the game. Eighteen should no longer be a magic number. Three, six, ninenew golfers need options.
We somehow need to make golf feel more egalitarian and less like a forbidden dessert. Thats the way it is in Scotland, where I first saw the prosaic ' and indelible ' image of an aged couple making their way to the local putting green after dinner, putters in hand, to knock a few about.
We who play the game often know how good it feels to be a golfer. It may be time to break golf down into its less time-consuming components ' chipping, putting, short rounds ' so people concentrate on the fun, not the image.
More of that attitude will help the game take its proper place in a troubled world: A recreation, one more way for a people on edge to blow off some steam. Because as we all know, pressure doesnt go away. It has to come out somewhere.
And wouldnt it be nice someday, finishing a hole in the gathering dusk, to see a shooting star, and feel lucky again?
Bradley, wife welcome baby boy, already rocking Patriots gear
Keegan Bradley and his wife Jillian announced on social media that they welcomed a baby boy, Logan James Bradley, to the world last week.
The Bradleys both posted photos on Instagram over the weekend, introducing their healthy newborn baby, who was (not-surprisingly) already decked out in head-to-toe New England Patriots gear.
Bradley, 31, grew up in New England and is not shy about showing his support for the area's sports teams.
A big congratulations is in order for the new parents.
And all you other adorable kids of PGA Tour golfers, you've officially been put on notice. You've got some new competition.
Country music star Owen to play in Web.com event
Country music star and avid amateur golfer Jake Owen has accepted a sponsor invitation to play in the 2018 Nashville Golf Open on the Web.com Tour.
Owen, 36, has sold millions of albums while becoming one of the top male singers in the country genre. He has also been frequently spotted on the links, teeing it up last week alongside host Davis Love III in the RSM Classic pro-am and participating each of the last three years as the celebrity partner for Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Owen will now try his hand in competition against some of the game's rising stars at the May 24-27 event, held in his hometown and benefitting the charitable foundation of PGA Tour pro Brandt Snedeker.
"I am truly honored to have this opportunity to play golf with guys whose work ethic I admire so much, like my buddy Brandt Snedeker," Owen said in a release. "I know how hard everyone works to get to play in these (Web.com Tour) tournaments. I'm really grateful, and I can't wait for this week in May 2018 to get here."
Owen will be following in the footsteps of NBA superstar Steph Curry, who played on a sponsor invite earlier this year at the Web.com's Ellie Mae Classic and, while missing the cut, largely exceeded expectations. Curry is currently listed as a 0.8 handicap, while Owen played at Pebble Beach in February as a 3 handicap.
Like Curry, Owen will play via an "unrestricted" sponsor invite and will retain his amateur status.
Jeremy Roenick uses golf clubs to catch rattlesnake
The retired American hockey legend who currently works as an NBC Sports analyst was at it again over the weekend, coming across a rattlesnake in Arizona and just casually using a couple of golf clubs to catch it before grabbing it with his bare hands and showing it off for the camera.
Relaxing Sunday morning! What happens when you live in Arizona. pic.twitter.com/RhRwWTLs8s— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) November 19, 2017
The person recording can be heard calling Roenick "psycho" and "nuts" several times before the snake is thrown off the property.
That person is not wrong.
What's in the bag: RSM Classic winner Cook
PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook earned his first Tour title at the RSM Classic. Take a look inside his bag.
Driver: Ping G400 (8.5 degrees adjusted to 9.2), with Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661X shaft
Fairway wood: Ping G400 (13 degrees), with Fujikura Motore VC 7.0 shaft
Hybrids: Ping G400 (19, 22 degrees), with Matrix Altus Red X shafts
Irons: Ping S55 (5-PW), with KBS Tour S shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50, 56, 60) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne
Ball: Titleist Pro V1