The Masters – It’s all about the Sounds…and Tiger

I’ve been watching the Masters Golf Tournament on and off for the last few days.  I’m not a big golf fan at all really, but for some reason, I enjoy watching it.  Maybe it’s just the sounds of the birds, and the occasional claps and roars when someone makes a nice shot. Actually, I think that’s it for me –  the sonics.  I like the sound the club makes when it strikes the ball – it’s an odd sound effect that interests me.  The flapping of the flags on the green, the occasional jet engine overhead and the drone of a blimp motor add layers of character to a pretty straightforward and often boring, but challenging game.

And the challenge.  The game sometimes reminds me of pool.  I wonder if the best players are good at billiards?  And I am sometimes reminded of mini-golf, with the rolling hills and the custom slopes and all the perilous things about like sand bunkers, strategically placed pit vipers and rattlers, and trees, rocks, pine needles and alligator infested ponds.

The buzz this year seems to be for the Aussies who have never won the Masters.  And of course there’s the 14 year old Chinese phenom, Tianlang Guan, who made the cut but shot a 77 in the last round to effectively end his bid for a top 10 finish.  And Tiger is always the story, with the ball drop thing and the 2 stroke penalty.  The whispering announcers were saying he should have voluntarily disqualified himself.  Right.  The truth is if Tiger had DQ’ed himself ratings would have dipped to alarmingly low levels, that is unless an Aussie were atop the leader board – and one is not – or one of the old guys like Ben Crenshaw or the 14 year old were in the running and they are not.  No, the story will be Tiger’s hunt for another Green jacket and maybe a snake bite or a close call with an alligator.

US Open Put-Put at Pebbles Beach

That golf course at Pebble Beach is messed up.  It should be renamed Pebbles Beach of Flintstone fame.   I half expected Dino and Fred to emerge in a golf cart. The thing is like a put-put course, with weird slopes, moldy greens of astroturf and quirky hole placements.  The professional amateurs they had out there prior to the final round – remember, Gretsky, Drew Brees and Danny Wahlberg – were goofing around shooting quadruple bogeys, having fun, as if the course were some sort of mini-golf tourist attraction near a strip of motels.

I have some ideas to spruce up the course for the next U.S. open at Pebbles Beach.  Make each hole a tribute to some of the home countries and states of the qualifiers.  Build a giant wine bottle on its side for the Argentine Angel Cabrera.  You have to roll the ball into the lip of the bottle.  If you break the bottle on your first shot, it’s like a hole in one.  For the Spaniard Sergio Garcia, build a giant raging bull with an open mouth.  For South African Ernie Els, I suggest a diamond mine replica.  And I propose a fiberglass whale from SeaWorld for the native of San Diego, Phil Mickelson.  Players would have to hit the ball into the blow hole on the fly.

Fun for the players, fun for the whole family.  And TV ratings would be off the charts!