June 25, 2007

My suggestions for the senior tour

The senior touring pros have obviously stolen some ideas from a book I wrote several years ago, the title of which was How to Make the Senior PGA Tour More Exciting Than Watching a Lady Rummage Through Her Purse to Find a Quarter, Two Nickels and Three Pennies in a Supermarket Check-out Line.

A shorter title had been suggested—Give It Up, Guys, Nobody Cares—but the publisher thought this title didn't say "senior golf tour" as much as it said local politics.

Making the announcement, Commissioner Tim Finchem said, "As the senior tour continues to grow, we're eliminating five tournaments in the future." Well, something like that.

Naturally I was pleased that Commissioner Finchem, in an effort to spice up the game, or maybe even save it, has seen fit to call for a few of my suggested changes:

  1. Put microphones on players.

  2. Have them pause during the round to answer questions that have been suggested by fans.

  3. Allow the gallery to walk inside the ropes with the competitors during the last four holes.

It seems to me, however, that Finchem, the potentate of all things bent and emerald, hasn't gone far enough. No way these changes alone can make the results of senior golf events attract more attention than, say, who won the Professional Women's Bowling Association tournament last week in Ebonite, North Dakota. Which is where senior golf has been residing for the past several years, or ever since Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer started reaching for the ibuprofen.

My book clearly stated that there's no point in putting mikes on the players if they're only going to talk about bursitis, or cortisone shots, or their recent surgery. You'd get this:

"When they took out my gallbladder they left a stone in."

"Same with me. I should have sued the idiots."

"Man, I'll tell you one thing—I was in some kind of pain."

"Me, too. I hurt like a runover dog."

"I hurt like a turpentined cat."

"Son, I turned yellow."

"I turned yellower."

"I was yellow as a banana."

"I was the color of French's mustard. I told my wife and kids, just get a frank and a bun, spread me on it."

And so on like that.

What I said in the book was, only turn on their mikes when they hook a drive out-of-bounds or blow a six-foot putt. That would create more excitement. Hear what they have to say about the lightweight, dropcase pizza brain who designed the course. For that matter, hear what they have to say about God.

I also listed a number of interesting questions the fans could ask when the seniors pause during the round:

  1. Why are you as grumpy now as you were on the regular tour?

  2. Which hip hurts the most?

  3. Didn't you score better when you smoked?

  4. Is it true your first wife threw all of your clothes out in the front yard one day?

  5. What's the longest you ever kept a courtesy car?

  6. Are you the one who used to play the trumpet?

  7. Y'all ever play any courses longer than 6,000 yards?

  8. Is that a 9-wood?

  9. Do you know Arnold Palmer?

  10. Who is Allen Doyle?

The idea of letting fans walk inside the ropes was all mine. Take the game back to yesteryear, when you could stroll the fairway next to Ben Hogan and say, "Good-looking slacks," or, "Where'd you get that shirt?"

But I insist it would create more fireworks if you limited the fans inside the ropes to ex-wives. We could hear: "You selfish, self-absorbed, putt-on-the-carpet bubble-head, when was the last time you spoke to your children? And don't tell me the check's in the mail again!"