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Sunday, July 24, 2011

It Is Time For Comeback

On occasion as I have done in the past, I am allowing myself to talk about another sport and not basketball. I hope you will enjoy some of my thoughts today about golf, after all most basketball people I know, love golf as well.

THE GAME: I was first introduced to the game of golf by my great father at the age of 8. I did not have fancy clubs and I wore my tennis shoes, but boy I cherished the times we could even go down to the putting green. It was a special game in my eyes and to this day, 90 percent of my friends, I have met through golf.

In case you have not noticed, golf as a sport is declining, even some dire predictions have it close to burial. This does not have to happen, nor should it. In 2011, everyone wants to blame every decline on the economy, factual in many cases, but for golf the decline started way before the collapse of the economy. It is an awesome sport, you can play it until your 100 and here are my suggestions to bring the game back to its glory and even if I am the only person promoting the game, I will never stop.

1. Golf needs Mr. McMahon. (Mr. McMahon is the greatest sports promoter of all time, in his role as chairman of the WWE). Golf has no spokesperson, someone to beat the drums each and everyday about how great a sport it is. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, were great, but the young people can't relate to them. The United State Golf Association does many good things, but their abundance of stuffed shirts can't ever seem to think outside of the box and who can relate to a bunch of rich white men and women in today's culture. Tiger is not the answer, he does not want the role, nor should he be expected to head up the role. Someone needs to step forward. I actually on a serious note would like to see George Lopez. The whole world can relate to him, he loves golf and he can get the attention of young people.

2. Golf needs more places to learn the game. It is intimidating for kids and women to go out and start to learn the game on a regulation course. We need learning centers, which people can afford and afford the equipment.

3. For 50 years golf has been saying they are going to address slow play, but nothing ever happens. The average round of 18 holes on any course should take no longer than 3 1/2 hours. Until slow play is addressed and people want to get serious about it, golf will continue to lose players.

4. In addition to learning centers, we need more quality 9- hole golf courses, do I dare to even say 7-hole golf courses, or even 12- hole golf courses. I don't buy it when people say people's lives are so busy today, memo to everyone, lives are busy from day one and have been forever. The ability to still enjoy golf needs to be there for people, while not taking as much time.

I could go on and on, but golf is a game of honor, where else except bowling do you keep your own score and have the ability to penalize yourself and it is game, if you don't play, you are missing out.  I just hate to see it decline, in the manner it is today and we need bright minds to step up and make sure it does not lose all its luster. Someone besides myself, please help with this cause, before it is too late.

More on golf.

SUPERINTENDENTS----Most people do not know their names, but these men and women who condition the great golf courses are the real stars of the game. Getting up at 3:30 in the morning to start your day is tough enough, but being dependent on mother nature everyday is even tougher. It is no wonder that in every survey about golf, superintendents come out number one, when the question is asked who is the most important person at the golf course. I salute all you wonderful people and it is an honor to know many of you.

STEVIE WILLIAMS---- I really get a kick out of all the people who are jumping on Tiger for dismissing Williams as his caddy and jumping on the bandwagon of Williams. I can never feel sorry for someone who has homes in three countries, has the ability to start their own foundation, can drive race cars at his leisure and is in TV commercials, as Williams does.

Stevie, it was not you that made yourself a rich man, it was Tiger Woods who made you wealthy,  famous and a worldwide recognized figure. While Tiger Woods is no poster boy, people forget it was Stevie Williams who treated many a fan like dirt on the golf course, with his boorish attitude and behavior. And for many of the media not to challenge him on losing two years of his life, while waiting for Tiger, I do recall Tiger has played some golf in the last two years.

Stevie Williams instead of ripping on Tiger, you should be thanking him forever. He made you what you are today and you should never forget it, but apparently you already have. Shame on you for doing so.

It will be back to basketball this week.

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