It was a good, skins game, back-to-live golf match up. The underdogs, Rickie Fowler and Matt Wolff, almost pulled off an upset, on a very interesting golf course, the Donald Ross-design Seminole Golf Club in Florida. The winners, World Number one Rory McIlroy and his partner Dustin Johnson, squeaked out a win at the end. But the real winners were the frontline nurses and the CDC who have courageously fought this coronavirus. They got millions in donations from corporate sponsors and people like you and I. As Brandel Chamblee said at the conclusion, “It was a great day for golf.”
A great day. An unusual day. An historic day. Tour pros wearing shorts. Tour pros carrying their own bags. Tour pros playing without caddies. Tour pros playing without fans. Keeping a proper social distance. Having an official tend the flagstick. The new normal? We’ll have to see what time, and the fate of this virus, brings.
At least it’s a start, a return to something approaching normalcy. Pros are competing again. I’m playing again. Hopefully you’re playing again. Hopefully. Full of hope. It’s important to see that, to feel it, to reflect upon it. For quite a while, our country was unified in doing what was needed to stop the forward march of this enemy. Like WWII, we accepted the need to sacrifice, to give up our usual lifestyles and, for the most part, stay at home and isolate. As in war, some people fell ill, were hospitalized, and, sadly, died. Workers lost their jobs, and the economy suffered tremendously. It will take quite awhile to recover. Anyway, it sure is good to see society slowly opening up, while still, I sincerely hope, protecting the vulnerable among us (myself included).
Back to golf. It was great observing the different swings on display during the match. Each had something to offer and teach. Each had different backswings but managed to get to impact in similar ways. Rory’s awesome move towards impact emanating from his well-timed swing and his powerful hip turn. DJ’s athleticism and strength and pace. Rickie’s big shoulder turn on his backswing, showing tremendous flexibility, along with his highly efficient putting stroke. And Matt Wolff’s old-school, homegrown forward press, a flying right elbow, forward toe dance, and fast downswing hip action, producing prodigious driver length for an average size young fellow. They were all a bit rusty due to the widespread virus lockdowns, but they still were able to showcase some of the skills that make all of them great players, and great human beings for putting on this show for golf fans starved for live TV action.
Full tournament play is scheduled to return in early June, again, without fans, but it’ll be great to see the guys return to action.
Was Sunday’s event all peaches and cream? No. I did not appreciate NBC giving Donald Trump a forum that reminded me of one of his campaign rallies. He surprised show host Mike Tirico by phoning in unannounced and unplanned. Whoever took the initial call should have turned it down. For instead of lauding and endorsing the noble fundraiser for the American Nurses Foundation and the Center for Disease Control Foundation, both crucial in the fight against Covid-19, he was more interested in blaming others for the pandemic’s spread, defending his questionable testing efforts, and congratulating himself for doing a great job. Trump’s call served to politicize the event which was entirely inappropriate. Given the president’s essentially campaign speech, Joe Biden should have gotten equal time. But it is not my intention to bring an extended discussion of politics into this golf blog. If you wish to read my political views in more detail, please check my other blog . If I’ve offended anyone with my above rant, sorry about that. I was just pretty pissed off and felt a need to vent. I know. I know. Not very mindful…
Be well, y’all. Stay healthy and safe. Enjoy the TV golf ahead. And enjoy playing, if you have the opportunity to do so.