It wasn’t in Vancouver (Olympics). It wasn’t in Blacksburg, VA (Terps). The PGA Tour stop this past weekend was at the TPC Course in Scottsdale, AZ for the Waste(d) Management - Phoenix Open. They call it The Coliseum. I call it the Preakness Infield Party without the horses or a Ravens Tailgate without the grills. It is the 16th hole, Par 3 – 160 yards, enveloped by grandstands and party suites of around 20,000 golf fans and general nutballs. I dig it. A small stadium inviting crowd participation ………on a golf course. I have not been. I need to go. It appears the entire course is just one huge party. I have attended a US Open and from what I witnessed this year and for the past several years ……….it is NOT the same atmosphere I was exposed to up at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island.
Sure there was the closing weekend of the Olympics in Canada. 1. It’s cold. 2. It’s in a foreign country. 3. The USA mens hockey team lost. Note to Bob Costas and NBC – It was NOT an “epic’, it was NOT the greatest hockey game ever played. Bob – “Have you ever watched an NHL playoff game?” Bob – “The team representing our country – lost.” 4. I lost interest in Canada and anything with a red maple leaf on it about mid-week.
Sure there was the Terps mens basketball team vs. the Virginia Tech Turkies. Terps 104 – VT 100, 2 OT’s, Grievas 41 points, awesome win. A game that started 3 hours late and never regained domestic water services the entire time. That’s right, like 6 hours in an arena built in 1961, with no water which equals no bathrooms. No thank you. At least the young aspiring MEP engineers received a lesson on how not to design a water system for an athletic arena. Sounds like VT could use a good plumbing engineer and I know just the person.
The place to be was at a golf course, as a spectator, as a respective heckler, in Scottsdale. In the stands at the 16th hole, baby……..every golfers tee shot – “GET IN THE HOLE”, followed by a roar of appreciation for a good shot or a demonstrative BOO for the poor shot. The cheering or jarring follows the golfers throughout the hole. The fans do their homework on each golfer; sometimes chanting their college fight song, the golfers middle name, past accomplishments or screw ups, the name of their home country, it’s all good! They do acknowledge some…….golf etiquette, but not much. Just before the tee shot, the commotion in the stands settles down from a roar to constant buzzzzzzzz. The only thing missing seems to be music. I dig it. Most of the golfers appear to be into it also. Some even bring small gifts or food that they throw into the stands, Everything from head covers, golf balls, hats, to sandwiches and candy. This is good for golf. It is a nice change. They should have one in the Fall also. Open the course up, maintain control and let it loose for a change.
I think it grabbed me this year because the Golf Channel had coverage throughout the weekend. There wasn’t that switch to network coverage on the weekend. The Golf Channel also had replay at 8:3o pm if you missed it live. Maybe I just had to much Olympics. Maybe I’ve had to much snow. Maybe it was because there was no Tiger. Maybe it was because – That’s my kind of golf …….for a change. “I’m Alright” – (Kenny Loggins), with LOUD golf at the appropriate moment. I’m alright with hearing fan participation throughout the entire golf course. I’m alright with Ian Poulter scratching his nose with his middle finger, after the crowd booed him for missing a 6 foot birdie putt, then started chanting USA, USA. I want to be there next year if he returns.
Before I leave this earth there are a few places I need to visit: Hawaii, Southern California, Mt. McKinley, Yellowstone Park, Mt. Rushmore and the 16th hole at the TPC in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you have been, please hook me up with info. If you would like to go, let’s start planning. FORE!