"Watch the guys in the long pants, not the shorts."
Wednesday as we drove into Congressional CC past the AT&T National practice range on pro-am day, Congressman Joe Baca, a 2-handicap and leader of the Congressional "golf caucus" offered this sage advice to his Capitol colleagues sharing our van: "Want to learn something, watch the guys in the long pants, not the ones in the shorts."
Makes a lot of sense if you think about it, as the Congressman tends to do. Baca is one of the guys who not only understands golf, but really gets its contribution to the country: $75 billion in spending, 2 million jobs, $3.4 billion to charity, not to mention the health benefits we all enjoy from playing. He was there with fellow Congressmen Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana), Albio Sires (D-New Jersey) and Phil Gingrey (R-Georgia) to spread that message and to join in the tribute to members of the military who were honored at the official opening-tee-shot ceremony at the AT&T.
That ceremony with host Tiger Woods and Commissioner Tim Finchem in attendance, was a fitting demonstration of golf's concern for giving back--its conscience, if you will. We tend to take for granted the central role volunteers play in professional golf competitions and the fact that every event as a result can make significant contribution to non-profits. But the presence yesterday of 25 wounded veterans, including a Medal of Honor winner who thanked Tiger, the tour and ATT for its efforts, brought that basic fact dramatically home.
Made you proud to be a golfer. And profoundly grateful for those young servicemen and women.
Photo: Getty Images