TORONTO -- The other day I turned on the tube and was privileged to witness a couple of snowboarding type people turn their bodies into torpedoes as they careened down an icy mountain and speeds fast enough to make non-drug users vomit.
Interestingly, it wasn't the speed, nor the fact that their outer extremities were flailing around like Tarzan plummeting to his death after missing the next vine, that I found intriguing. No, it was their post-run "lingo" that brought tears in my eyes and caused my heart to flutter. And it made me think, perhaps we can use some of that "sick" talk in the world of golf.
Now I don't know about you, but I tend to think golf on TV can be dryer than a popcorn fart. Unless it's a major, where just the historical relevance is sufficiently captivating, the regular tour events just aren't "gruesome" enough for me. Ultimately, it's usually the announcers who drive me into switching the channel to old re-runs of Knight Rider. ("Go, Kitt, Go!")
Interestingly, broadcasters do have the power and the potential to keep my grimy little hands off the remote and focussed on the boys with sticks and balls. My suggestion is that they tune in to what's going on in the world of snowboarding, skateboarding, and X-treme sports - and take some notes. With a little creativity borrowed from the Gen-X crowd, ho-hum golf phrases can be altered to keep fans on the edge of their seat, yelping in utter delight. For example.
Boring Phrase #1 - "What a great shot from this rising star. That sure was an exciting play hitting overtop of that tree. Not very many players could have done that. He must be quite excited."
Could Be - "Dude, did you see that sick strike from circus boy? I just spewed on my lap! Love it. He went fakie and boned it right over that tree. Busted huge air! Mortals would have cratered on their face. He's got to be stoked!"
Boring Phrase #2 - "This is one of the toughest golf holes on the course. Unless golfers are aggressive, birdies will be very difficult to make."
Could Be - "This hole has caused many grommets to spit Chicklets. This is one jam session where yard sales are common. Stomping out birdies will be limited to huckers who don't mind poaching trails that are closed to most posers."
Boring Phrase #3 - "It looks like he's playing well at the moment. His swing looks very good."
Should Be - "Dude, he's ripping some phat air right now. No heel drags or speed checks in that swing. Nothing wack about his groove. He's tweaked and going yard."
Boring Phrase #4 - "That shot could prove disastrous. It looks like a bogey is inevitable."
Should Be - "That was lame. Looks like he's beat and bailing hard. Bogies and brain aches are loomin' large."
Boring Phrase #5 - "This is an excellent golf course. The gallery will be treated to some wonderful play. We should see some good golf from the players on both the outward and inward nines."
Should Be - "This track kicks. No boring lip tricks here. The fans are going to feast on some sick style. Frontside, backside, inverted - you name it, they'll be sticking, stomping, slamming, and packing hard."
As you can see, word usage can completely alter the dynamics of how information is conveyed. I tend to thing that the gen-x crowd knows something many of the old, crusty broadcasters haven't quite figured out. Now, I'm not saying that every announcer should carry a bong with them up into the booth and speak in unrecognizable tongues, however, a little literary flair wouldn't hurt. Now if you'll excuse me, the grommets I golf with are outside honking their horn - waiting to get schooled.
January 4, 2003
Andrew Penner is a longtime member of the Canadian PGA. Author of "One Flew Over the Caddyshack," he also writes for a number of magazines throughout Canada and the U.S.
We all love golf course rankings, but there's quite a bias involved, huh? Host a major championship and you're basically guaranteed a spot on the list. What about the average duffer who's more impressed with the beer list than the slope/rating - or prefers friendliness over the fine, imported lotion in the locker room? Where's our list, hackers? Answer: Right here.
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