U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

Tiger and Obama

March 03, 2008

Jaime Diaz's column on the relationship of Tiger Woods and Barack Obama in Golf World's Feb. 29th issue drew rapid response, not all of it positive.

Diaz admittedly went out on a limb:

I can't help it. Something visceral tells me Tiger Woods has had something to do with the ascension of Barack Obama. Maybe a lot.

Despite some cultural experts urging him not to, Jaime  forged ahead with his premise and drew fiery responses, including one from Floridian George Elgart, who called the column "racist".  An excerpt:

Tiger, love him or detest him, is the finest example of a golfer I have had the pleasure to observe in my 50 summers.  News flash to Mr. Diaz: This kid really is special.  Compare him to Einstein, to Jonas Salk, to Michael Jordan, to Babe Ruth, to Michaelangelo, to Disraeli or Pele, fine, but please spare us the comparison to a political newcomer, untested by time or circumstance.  I would ask Diaz for his favorite Obama accomplishment, but evidently he has already included it in his piece: his race.  Tiger is not great because or in spite of his ethnic heritage, Tiger is the greatest golfer of his (or perhaps any) age because of his remarkable ability to play golf.

Len Raley of Elk Grove, California, also had a problem with Diaz's logic:

I was offended at the content of the Opinion column in the February 29th issue of Golf World for several reasons:   First and foremost, political and cultural opinion drivel of this kind has no place in a weekly golf publication. If I wish this kind of content, I can find it in a multitude of publications far better suited to the topics.

Second, the ill-conceived connection premise of the opinion content was accurately described by Dr. Harry Edwards as having "... next to nothing to do with the other". The fact that Diaz actually let the article leave his word processing vehicle and that you chose to publish the piece is mind boggling.>


Lastly, I see the article as a new low in the "Billary's" efforts to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. Recruiting a hack golf writer to point out the empty rhetoric used by Obama in his sales pitch to the American public is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Please note that I have included elements of my own political opinion. You don't really care to hear it --do you?

Actually, Len, we do. The reason columnists write columns like this one is because they generate very passionate letters, yours included. Thanks for sharing it.

--Bob Carney