The Beloved Flop

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There are few leisurely pleasures more accessible to the average bi-pedal throw cushion than watching golf. I think I have witnessed more golf on television than any other sport. I have come to regard this time…recumbent yet riveted…as the ‘ beloved flop ‘.

In the same way that the intricacies of baseball may elude the more casual observer, the singular drama of good golf can often loft as silently overhead as an errant bunker shot at St. Andrews. There are very few sports that pit the participant so unavoidably against themselves. That’s the struggle I try to tap into each and every time I watch a tournament. I can create my own heroes and villains as they make their way through the rounds. I judge the players by their body language, their sense of decorum..even their choice of fashion. I am the fickle puppet master who will damn someone for donning a gaudy pair of sunglasses or besmirching the integrity of the good game by spitting on the course.

The truth is that I would much rather watch golf than play it and I have watched it since I was a child. I learned very early that there is no direct correlation between observing golf and attempting golf. Just because you may enjoy watching boxing on television does not mean you should ever enter a ring. Professional bull riding might hold my interest for an hour or two but my mama did not raise me to be Brahma fodder.

But competency and consistency in golf somehow seem attainable, don’t they? It’s an illusion. Stay at home, grab a beer, groan and cheer and watch all four rounds, if you’ve got that kind of time. Let the tranquil pace of the game wash over you. Enjoy the heavily-manicured high definition of it all. Revel in the hushed tones of the green side announcers. Golf is the only televised sport that will allow a mid-round nap on the couch without severely penalizing the viewer. Sleep through a few holes and chances are you probably didn’t miss much.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=televised+golf&iid=6204465″ src=”c/4/b/a/Johnnie_Walker_Championship_b5a2.jpg?adImageId=12815457&imageId=6204465″ width=”234″ height=”330″ /] The drama, though, is all there. The old pros, the upstarts..those glorious walks on the final day up the 18th fairway to the roar of an appreciative gallery. Golf has brought more than a few lumps to my throat. I have even been known to shed a tear when the right person wins at precisely the right time.

There was a period of my life when parental responsibilities made watching a golf tournament on television impossible. The responsibilities were simply too great, the distractions too many. But the luxury is back and now those same kids who took me away from my ‘ beloved flop ‘  have returned to insist that we watch the game together. Marvelous! I wish all of you such a satisfying circle of life.

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