Thursday, August 15, 2013

Random Thursday Post: Creep of the Week, Bethpage Black and more

In the last post I talked about negativity, and how it sells. Well I want to sell too, so here goes. We all know that the world of golf is lousy with lousy personas. From time to time, why not put the spotlight on some of them? Maybe there's a lesson to be learned for all of us.

"Hey kids--I have a Twitter."

Ted Bishop is the current president of the PGA of America. (Respect.) I had never heard of him until this week, when he laid this gem via Twitter.

Shame on you if you tried clicking that 'Follow' button. It doesn't work anyways.

Clearly he's alluding to the slow play issues that have popped up on high-profile stages recently--this year we've had the slogfest of Tiger's final round at Torrey, and then there was the Chinese wonderkid at the Masters, then there was the USGA getting all up in our business with their cutie-patootie campaigns.

And in this one little twitter post he manages to 1) take credit for Jim Furyk and Jason Dufner's pace of play b) declare the PGA of A's ownership of the very concept of pace of play and 3) implicitly call out the PGA Tour, Augusta National and whoever else had a slow play issue, practically gloating about them not keeping their players in check. It's not just what he's saying--it's how he says it. The emphatic caps, that noxious hashtag. Ya, ok Ted. Take it easy.


Bethpage Black and the Ryder Cup: they deserve each other.

We got another dose of Ted's crap this week as the PGA of A all but announced that it's chosen Bethpage Black as the site of the 2019 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup. Per the AP:
''We've had a great relationship with the state of New York, and it's escalated this week,'' Bishop said at Oak Hill. ''New York is the greatest sports city in America, and the Ryder Cup is the greatest event in golf.''
Now I'm not going to begrudge the choice of this course for those events. Because in many ways, its an ideal venue for the biggest golf events in the world--a massive site with lots of room for galleries and tons of parking. But this business about New York being the greatest sports city is pure jive talk. Arguably it is among the worst. I have this one neighbor, and I can hear him in his living room watching Knicks games, Giants games... you know what, I'm not even going to get into it.

In any case, for those not familiar, Bethpage is most definitely not New York City. It's a good 30+ miles out, and is pure Long Island in character. Not that we should be surprised, not at this point, that such a greasy bootlicking remark like that would come from old Ted.

But there's more. Then he calls the Ryder Cup "the greatest event in golf". Now nobody can really argue the greatness of the original "2 teams, 1 cup" match. However it takes some real nerve to call an event that is open only to a) Americans and b) Europeans, the greatest event in golf. How about "most elitist event in golf". Offensive at best and I can think of about 10 million angry golfers around the globe who would agree with me.

So there you have it, for all the gloating, overreaching Twittering, shameless pandering, bald-faced elitism... your first ever LG Creep of the Week. Enjoy it Ted. Hopefully this won't literally be a weekly award, but perhaps we'll just break it out on an as-needed basis.


By the way, 2019 PGA Championship? 2024 Ryder Cup??? That's kind of a ways off, isn't it Ted? I mean, the Olympic Games aren't even planned beyond 2016 for crying out loud.

But I guess when you're talking about "the greatest event in golf", the one that lasts all of three days, and involves all of 24 competitors, on a regulation 18-hole golf course... you need a good eleven-year head start to get things ready.

[update: Turns out there's a masterplan behind all this douchebaggery. Read more about it here.]

Speaking of negativity, I tried to sneak in a twilight round earlier in the week. It was a total flop, and I couldn't even manage to break 90. But I guess some of you like hearing about NY golf horror stories. As you can see it was wet everywhere and the cups were pretty wrecked. Lip-outs all over the place.

It was hard to capture in a photo but in that last one, the hole is perched on the tippy top of a little mound, a three-putt if you're lucky. The superintendent at Dyker Beach GC being an asshole again-- shocker.
"You can't stand too close to the ball." -- Byron Nelson, Johnny Miller, et al.
Let's get real here though. Pretty sure a lot of my problems come from standing too far away at address. So I'm thinking of this quote often. These guys are among the best strikers in history but just what in the hell are they talking about? Are they extolling the virtues of standing close to the ball, and the closer the better? Or is this a warning that we must not stand too close to the ball??? Surely they meant well but taken on it's own, that little statement is a semantical nightmare. Help.
"It's possible to stand too close to the ball, but nobody ever does." -- Ben Crenshaw
Ahh thanks Ben. That's the straight dope I was looking for.


  1. Nice timing on Mr. Bishop's award. He seems to have managed to insert his other size 11 recently.

  2. Yep - The state of NY will take all the booty that PGA and anyone else will pay to prostitute its fabled Black gem. I discovered BP way back in the early 80s when a work pal who lives in town invited me out from my midtown hovel to play a round. Back then, it was wait in the car the night before in a line down the driveway. Baker's tickets handed out to car occupants at 4 AM and you signed up on a sheet to play one of the five courses in the order of your tix. We usually had someone in the car by 7 PM the night BEFORE we wanted to play..Black was a beaten hay field not necessarily the first choice since even then there were no carts and the conditioning of the course was...nonexistent. 6 hour rounds if you weren't in the first few foursomes was the norm. Along comes pro golf money and USGA slatherings and whamo! BP Black is a beast and a beauty at that. Regulars felt blessed and actually got to enjoy the place for about a year after the first US Open before the place became a resort destination. Despite vast improvements in the reservation system - use of computers - the demand has pushed the course into the ranks of bucket listdom for anyone not a resident of the Empire State. I will remember those early days fondly and the first time I broke 90 on Black...NOw it costs more than $90 ifyou're form out of state and when the pros come to play your chances of gaining a tee time? Fuggetaboutit...

    1. It's now up $130 for non-res weekdays!! Great insight, thanks for the comment. Breaking 90 at BPB will be one of my goals for the next year.


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