|Media outlets from coast to coast will soon be saluting Badgolfer.com for naming Barack Obama as Bad Golfer Of The Decade. (Photo illustration: Sheetal Mahurkar)|
As the moments tick away toward President-elect Barack Obama's historic - and expensive - inauguration, he has proven one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt - that bad golfers are represented better now than ever before. And for that he is BadGolfer.com's Bad Golfer Of The Decade.
Sure, the entire planet is facing an unprecedented financial crisis. And every other nation, or so it seems, is currently at war. And eating peanut butter can kill you. And the United States is veering ever closer to socialism as local governments around the nation refuse to privatize their police and fire departments. But does any of that matter? Not a whit. Because Barack Obama occasionally plays golf. And this is what the American people want to know about.
Other Presidents played golf. In fact, they all did. Heck, even George W. Bush was a world-class speed golfer, right up to the point that Bush gave up the game for a while in honor of U.S. troops overseas. It was the least he could do - literally.
But with Obama, the focus on his golf game - or, more appropriately, his lack of a golf game - has taken the nation's media by storm, catapulting golf to the top of the charts. And while Obama is better known for his basketball skills, it's his golf game that reporters from the Los Angeles Times to the New York Times and everywhere in between seem to be focused upon.
In December, Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times spent several hundred words describing Obama's golf outing at Olomana Golf Links in Hawaii. And Zeleny didn't just leave it at Obama's golf game. After all, he didn't even know what Obama shot during his 18-hole foray. But true to the newspaper's "we'll research the hell out things that aren't very important" philosophy, Zeleny found out what Obama had ordered for lunch (two hot dogs, two spam musubi, two passion orange sodas, one Powerade and one Coke) how much he spent ($17.75) and how he offered to buy some folks at the pool a beer (they declined).
Now that's the reporting we Americans have come to appreciate. Sure, the majority of us don't have the foggiest idea of who and what the U.S. military is fighting in Iraq, but we can now tell you that Obama will at least order Spam sushi when golfing in Hawaii. An enlightened people are we.
But it wasn't just the New York Times - golf columnist Parker McLachlin played a round with Obama, and every major U.S. media source in existence covered the event. Golf writer extraordinaire Geoff Shackelford wrote about how golfers shouldn't fear an Obama administration. Time magazine ran a feature breaking down Obama's golf game.
Heck, even Tiger Woods - the most socially risk-averse human on the planet - gave his opinion on Obama.
These are just some of the reasons why an Obama presidency will be fantastic for the golf industry. Because, while Obama has hoops skills, he's not afraid to hit the links. And when he hits the links, the media goes gaga. But is that enough to make Obama the Bad Golfer Of The Decade? By itself, perhaps not. What really seals the deal is that while Obama may be his generation's best orator, as a golfer, he's just one of us.
"Obama's golf game is not good," bluntly wrote Golf Digest's Van Natta.
That is why BadGolfer.com honors Obama. He is a duffer with a handicap in the 20s. He prefers basketball to golf. And yet, when he has a golf club in his hands, the world's media grinds to a halt and makes sure every last human on the planet knows what happens. For ordinary bad golfers, that's change we can believe in.
January 15, 2009
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
I've been slumming it out on cheap public courses my entire life. At one point, aren't I entitled as a lifelong golfer to finally enjoy the fruits of my suffering on a well conditioned, thoughtfully designed private course from one of the game's premier architects?
... full article »