June 25, 2007

The Image Police Crack Down on the Tour

Earlier in the year there was this mandatory, ultra-private, all-important meeting of PGA Tour players at which Commissioner Tim Finchem initiated a discussion about the increasing importance of "proper behavior" among the participants—not that any of the pros had been caught cross-dressing lately.

At one point Henry Hughes, one of the organization's 4,172 vice presidents, said, "Our image is the mainstay of the PGA Tour. Things that are acceptable in society now are not acceptable here."

I know Henry said this because it so happens I had the room bugged, and I will now play my favorite part of the tape for you.

Pushing "play":

SCOTT HOCH: What's society got to do with the tour, Henry? Society is for people who dress up in tuxes and go to charity dances.

__MARK CALCAVECCHIA:__Yeah. Wear jewels and stuff.

JOE DURANT: They order cappuccinos, too. That kind of thing.

__HOCH:__Who's Captain Gino?

__CALCAVECCHIA:__You're right, Joe. I've seen society people order cappuccinos a lot, sometimes even decaf. Usually they're in one of those coffee places that sells bagels instead of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

HOCH: Do they wear their tuxes and jewels in those places when they drink their Captain Ginos?

CALCAVECCHIA: I guess they could. The ones I've seen mostly wear sweat suits and jogging shorts and tights, everybody looking like some kind of soccer mom.

HOCH: That don't mean they're rich.

CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it does. If they weren't rich, they'd be at work in the factories. Like all the people who can't play golf as good as we can. You know — your rank and file.

HOCH: Oh? Well, the only hole I care about is the one I'm trying to get my golf ball in.

FINCHEM: Gentlemen, we're getting sidetracked. I want to talk about the increased exposure we're going to get on TV and how you should be aware that TV is likely to try to capture your more intense side during a tournament. So I want to stress the importance of proper etiquette.

__JOHN DALY:__Etiquette's got something to do with food, don't it?

FINCHEM: I suppose it does — on occasion.

DALY: Man, nobody's gonna tell me what I can eat. They've been telling me what I can and can't drink long enough.

DUFFY WALDORF: Pass me an Oreo, John.

DALY: Take two. I got a whole box.

FINCHEM: We're really not here to discuss food. If I may continue. Among other things, I'd like to see us do away entirely with spitting and cursing on the course.

__UNIDENTIFIABLE VOICE:__Aw, heck.

(Sound of laughter in room.)

FINCHEM: I also want to talk to you about smoking, not only in competition but elsewhere.

DALY: I'm outta here.

NICK PRICE: So am I.

FUZZY ZOELLER: Me too.

BEN CRENSHAW: I'll go with you.

(Shuffling sound of people filing out of room.)

WALDORF: Hey, John. Leave us some Oreos.

__CALCAVECCHIA:__And that box of Krispy Kremes.

FINCHEM: I see I may have touched on a sore spot when I brought up smoking. I'll move on to your general appearance. Facial hair, for instance. Does our tour really need goatees, mustaches, beards?

CRAIG STADLER: That's it. I'm outta here.

(Sound of players leaving room, presumably goateed or mustachioed or both.)

FINCHEM: Gentlemen, I wasn't suggesting that some of you look like Abraham Lincoln, I was merely ...

Pushing "stop."