Golf Digress

Physically cultured commentary on Sport and Wellness

Month: March, 2014

That’s Golf! I’m here to tell you edition

Scribes excluded from HOF balloting? A bad idea.

Scribes excluded from HOF balloting? A bad idea.

That’s Golf! SportsTalk AM 1300 The Zone, Austin, TX Script for March 30, 2014

HERE’S A THOUGHT: “THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME WHEN THE CORDS OF CONCENTRATION ARE MOST APT TO SNAP IS WHEN EVERYTHING IS GOING SMOOTHLY.”

I’LL REPEAT THAT.

I WONDER IF BOB JONES WAS TALKING ABOUT GOLF, OR OTHER MATTERS.

JUST A LITTLE MORSEL TO SNACK ON AS WE GET SET TO TURN TO HOUSTON AND THEN ONTO GEORGIA FOR THE FIRST MAJOR OF THE YEAR.

YOUR HOST & FEARLESS LEADER FOR THE NEXT HOUR: NOT EXACTLY THE BOSS WITH THE HOT SAUCE. NOR COULD I BE CONFUSED WITH PUTTING THE LABEL ON THE TABLE. NO, IT’S MORE LIKE OPENING UP ANOTHER CAN OF VERBAL GOLF SPAM. I AM PLEASED TO WELCOME YOU BACK, VICARIOUSLY, INTO THE SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES. FOR THE RECORD, MY WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY INCLUDES AN ELASTIC WAIST BAND AND A SHIRT WITH SLEEVES.

WE’RE LIVE BECAUSE IT BEATS THE ALTERNATIVE. WELCOME AGAIN TO THAT’S GOLF!  THE EXCLAMATION POINT IS OPTIONAL. IT’S EARLY. IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A SHOW TO HELP YOU WITH THE SEX TALK WITH YOUR CHILD, THIS IS NOT IT. NOR IS IT THE PLACE TO TURN FOR FINANCIAL ADVICE. YOU MIGHT STEER CLEAR OF ANYONE WITH A DEEP SUNTAN AND A ONE-IRON. THAT’S ABOUT THE EXTENT OF THE ADVICE FROM ME.

INSTEAD WE TURN TO REAL EXPERTS, NOT JUST THOSE THAT PROFESS TO PLAY ONE ON THE RADIO. AND, WHILE WE DO TEND TO AVOID ANYTHING OF A POLITICAL NATURE HERE ON THE ZONE, I DO ENDORSE SOME SEX MARRIAGE.

OUR ENDEAVOR IS TO ENHANCE OUR APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOLF. WE DO THAT IN ANY NUMBER OF DECIDEDLY LOW-TECH WAYS.

HERE’S A HEADLINE YOU MIGHT SEE ONCE EVERY FIVE-HUNDRED YEARS. IT APPEARED IN A RECENT EDITION OF THE DAILY MAIL. QUOTE:

We must open our doors to women, says Royal & Ancient: Golf’s governing body tells male members of St Andrews they should accept change is inevitable.

YOU CAN HEAR THE GRUMBLING.

THE ARTICLE BEGINS WITH THIS BOMBASTIC LEDE: QUOTE: The hugely powerful Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, which also serves as the sport’s governing body, has written to all 2,500 of its current members recommending they agree to allow women to join.

I HOPE YOU’RE SITTING DOWN. THAT’S RIGHT: WOMEN. THEY WEAR PANTY HOSE AND PERFUME – ALTHOUGH, COME TO THINK OF IT – THAT DOESN’T ENTIRELY EXCLUDE THE MALE AUDIENCE, AT LEAST SOUTH OF THE RIVER.

THE ARTICLE CONTINUES: “St Andrews has repeatedly resisted mounting political and commercial pressure to overhaul the admissions policy at its clubhouse, which overlooks the 18th green of the Old Course – the spiritual home of golf. In an extraordinary ABOUT-face, Wilson Sibbet, chairman of the club’s influential General Committee, has written to members with a clear message that they should accept the change as inevitable. ‘It is of course for members to decide,” HE WRITES, “if they wish to alter the rules of the club to give effect to this change of policy.” END QUOTE.

THE PROBLEM, OR AT LEAST ONE OF THEM, IS THAT THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP IS HELD AT PLACES LIKE MUIRFIELD, WITH A MALE-ONLY POLICY. FRANKLY, I’M MORE INTERESTED IN THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT, AND WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN FOR FREEING UP TEE TIMES AT THE OLD COURSE FOR THOSE NATIONS (OR “REPUBLICS” – HINT, HINT) THAT REMAIN FRIENDLY DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH THE SCOTS.

STAY TUNED. I DIDN’T MEAN TO ALARM YOU AT THIS EARLY HOUR. WOMEN IN THE R&A CLUBHOUSE? WHAT NEXT? THEY’VE GOT THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND DRIVE A CAR. I’M KIDDING OF COURSE. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A BIG SUPPORTER OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE.

OF COURSE WHAT THIS ALL BOILS DOWN TO IS MONEY. SPONSORS GET SWEATY  PALMS WHEN HALF OF THE BUYING PUBLIC IS EXCLUDED.

WHICH BRINGS US TO OUR NEXT STORY. AND, FOR ALL THE RIGHT CORPORATE REASONS – BY WHICH I MEAN ALL THE WRONG REASONS – (ANOTHER MUCH-SMALLER AGGRIEVED MINORITY), THE HUMBLE GOLF SCRIBE HAS BEEN YANKED FROM VOTING FOR GOLF’S HALL OF FAME.

THEY’RE GOING EXCLUSIVELY WITH “ADMINISTRATORS” AND THOSE ALREADY VOTED IN. BY COMPARISON, OF COURSE, THE MOST HERALDED SPORT HALLS OF FAME – COOPERSTOWN AND CANTON – RELY ON THE EXPERTISE OF THOSE WHO PROFESSIONALLY COVER AND REPORT ON THEIR SPORT. NUFF SAID. GOLF, SADLY – OR AT LEAST THIS ONE CORPORATE ARM – HAS DECIDED TO GO IN ANOTHER DIRECTION.

The chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame — “THE CHIEF” SAYS: EXCLUDING THE SCRIBES “…puts the decision-making of who gets into the Hall of Fame in the right hands — individuals who know the history of the game, have a passion for the game, who know the players, who understand the qualities that make up a Hall of Famer.” BULL. GET THAT MAN A SHOVEL.

I’M HERE TO TELL YOU: THE ENSHRINEMENT PROCESS HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY CHEAPENED. BAD IDEA. THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY. KEEP LOWERING THE STANDARDS. A BAD, BAD IDEA CHASING OFF THE SCRIBES. AND, NO, IF YOU’RE WONDERING – I’M NOT A VOTER.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE SAME PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO CHARGE MORE TO ALLOW WELL-HEELED PATRONS A BETTER VANTAGE PLACE INSIDE THE PGA TOUR ROPES – BASICALLY, A DISASTER. THE SAME PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THE ‘CHASE FOR THE CHECK’ WAS EXCITING.

AMAZING, WHEN YOU THINK OF IT, THAT GOLF HAS STILL MANAGED TO SURVIVE AT ALL DESPITE MAN’S BEST ATTEMPTS TO MONOPOLIZE AND MONOTIZE IT….END OF EDITORIAL. PRINTED COPIES NOT AVAILABLE.

 

 

 

Draw

Just the latest in a long line of athletic gun-related tragedies.

Just the latest in a long line of athletic gun-related tragedies.

“So, where’s your gun?” It was assumed, naturally, because I was American. This was in England, 1979, students sitting around a pint. They were big fans of “Kojak.” Yanks all carried guns. Not every American, I told them. It only seemed that way, especially now. And athletes do love them some guns. They shoot themselves in the thigh (Plaxico Burress), arrange to have girlfriends murdered (Rae Curruth), forget they’ve got them in their carry-ons (Shaun Rogers, et al), shoot their limo driver (Jayson Williams), or exercise their Second Amendment rights in other novel and often fatal idiotic ways. But, as we know, sports only mirror society. Why quibble?

The Pistorius trial has more than its share of peculiarities. In a general way it reminded me of two tragic, little-known gun in sports episodes. That they involve two immortals must, in some way, be telling. Both Ty Cobb and Ben Hogan took pains to avoid at least publicly reprising  seminal events that defined their very core. Cobb biographer Charles Alexander pegged his subject as “a deeply flawed. fascinating personality.” The same can certainly be said of Hogan, who witnessed his father’s suicide as a child. Cobb carried a slug from a .22 in his shoulder from the age of 16 on, an accident, self-inflicted. His father stopped the bleeding, then put him on a train to seek treatment in Atlanta, a 75-mile trip, keeping in mind this was over a century ago. It healed nicely, but that incident was the least of it.

The Georgia Peach carried a slug in his shoulder from a .22.

The Georgia Peach carried a slug in his shoulder from a .22.

Just as he was becoming a very good ballplayer, his mother shot his father. Georgia, early August, what Cobb, in one of his only written explanations, would recall simply as “the blackest of days” when he got the news. The oddest circumstance, from Alexander’s account, is that his mother, alone in the house locked the bedroom windows “even though the temperature had been in the nineties that day and it was still w arm and humid.” She went to bed. Her husband had said he would be spending a few days out at the farm. Alexander mentions rumors of Amanda Cobb’s infidelity. Anyway, W.H. Cobb reappeared that night on foot in town. “Shortly after midnight Amaanda Cobb was awakened by a noise on the porch roof. A figure she could not make out was struggling to raise one of the windows to her bedroom Grabbing the loaded double-barreled shotgun that always stood in a corner of the room, she pointed it toward the window and fired once. After what witnesses later described as a considerable interval, she fired again. Approaching the shattered window, she peered into the darkness to find her husband lying in a widening pool of blood.” She was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and later absolved at trial, which Cobb attended.

Hogan was nine when his father, Chester, 37, took a .38 to his temple. Hogan biographer Curt Sampson includes and considers two local obituaries in his biography. The impact is left to conjecture. “But,” Sampson wrote, “from a performance standpoint, Hogan understood himself better than any athelete ever. That was Hogan’s Secret. It didn’t become a book or a magazine series because mental toughness, self-control, focus, and the connectin between mood and performance couldn’t be photographed. It was difficult for him to describe and for us dilettantes to apply. He didn’t think we would understand.”

Hogan, of course, would later endure further tragedy, losing a collision with a Greyhound bus. His extraordinary courage in returning to golf and winning would cement his immortality. The accident changed him, obviously. It seemed “preposterous” that Hogan would play top golf again after clearly facing death, to people who’d covered him. Al Laney had watched him from before WWII to 1967. He saw a different Hogan. Gone, he wrote, “ was at least a part of the cold, indifferent, remorseless Hogan, consumed in the fires of the ordeal through which he had passed.”

There was no metamorphosis with Cobb. Sam Crawford played alongside him in the Tiger outfield for 13 years. Wahoo Sam told Lawrence Ritter in The Glory of Their Times that Cobb arrived in Detroit “with an antagonistic attitude, which in his mind turned any little razzing into a life-or-death struggle. He always figured everybody was ganging up against him. He came from the South, you know, and he was still fighting the Civil War. As far as he was concerned, we were all damn Yankees before he ever met us. Well, who knows, maybe if he hadn’t had that persecution complex he never would have been the great ball player he was.”

There was a different Hogan after his near-fatal car accident, recalled Al Laney.

There was a different Hogan after his near-fatal car accident, recalled Al Laney.

I wonder.  Would Cobb have been Cobb, or Hogan Hogan without these tragic influences? Would they have been so driven to succeed? Would their ability have been so hardened to channel and compartmentalize the hurt? The mold was broken with both of them. Perhaps that wasn’t such a bad thing. Every pistol-packing and playing pro athlete should reflectively consider the Pistorius bathroom door testimony.

 

Stalking Points Memo: Sleep Tight Edition

  • From: The Baltimore Sun
  • Meditation: A stress reliever, but not a panacea

Take a deep breath, meditation enthusiasts: A new study finds that research on mindfulness meditation has yielded moderate evidence that the practice can reduce anxiety, depressive symptoms and pain, but little to no evidence that it can reduce substance abuse or improve mood, sleep or weight control. And no evidence was found that meditation programs were better than drugs, exercise or other behavioral therapies at addressing issues of mental health.

The latest word on meditation’s effects comes from a meta-analysis–essentially a study of existing clinical trials that sifts, consolidates and distills their findings. It’s published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The analysis showed a “small and consistent signal” that different components of negative effect–stress, distress, anxiety and depression–improved in subjects who were trained in and practiced mindfulness meditation, the authors wrote. The scale of benefits found ranged from 22% to 38% for anxiety symptoms and 23% to 30% for depressive symptoms. Its effect on pain was more robust, yielding an average improvement of about 33%.

  •  From: The Guardian
  • Animal protein-rich diets could be as harmful to health as smoking

A diet rich in meat, eggs, milk and cheese could be as harmful to health as smoking, according to a controversial study into the impact of protein consumption on longevity.

High levels of dietary animal protein in people under 65 years of age was linked to a fourfold increase in their risk of death from cancer or diabetes, and almost double the risk of dying from any cause over an 18-year period, researchers found. However, nutrition experts have cautioned that it’s too early to draw firm conclusions from the research.

The overall harmful effects seen in the study were almost completely wiped out when the protein came from plant sources, such as beans and legumes, though cancer risk was still three times as high in middle-aged people who ate a protein-rich diet, compared with those on a low-protein diet.

But whereas middle-aged people who consumed a lot of animal protein tended to die younger from cancer, diabetes and other diseases, the same diet seemed to protect people’s health in old age.

  • From: Fox News
  • Study finds link between BPA and prostate cancer

The highly controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked with yet another adverse health condition: prostate cancer.

In a small study published in PLOS ONE, scientists observed the presence of high levels of BPA in men with prostate cancer; they also found that BPA exposure disrupts cell division, potentially affecting cancer’s development.

The Cincinnati Cancer Center researchers say these findings point to the need for future studies looking into the effects of BPA exposure.

BPA is used to manufacture hard, polycarbonate plastics and is found in many food product containers such as cans, receipts and plastic water bottles.  It has been linked to cancers, neurological defects, diabetes and obesity. BPA exposure in the U.S. is widespread, with more than 90 percent of the population containing some levels of the chemical.

  •  From: Today
  • Up all night: Parents and kids are losing sleep to their devices

“Light will disturb your sleep — so looking at a screen is going to make it harder for them to sleep. Noise will disturb your sleep especially if it’s left on,” Knutson says. “And also these really, the more interactive devices, like video games or their tablets, are mentally stimulating. And so that’s also going to make it harder for them to go to sleep once they finally try. And it’s a distraction, so they’re just staying awake later because they’re playing with their devices.”

James Maas, a sleep expert, author and retired professor and chair of Cornell University’s psychology department, says that most people don’t realize that our brains register the blue glowing light from all our various screens as if it’s sunlight — which says to your brain, hey, it’s the middle of the day!

“If you look at these gadgets within an hour of bedtime, what happens is melatonin — the brain hormone that puts you to sleep — has been suppressed for the last hour,” said Maas. “Now, it’s going to take you much longer to go to sleep.”

The survey found that 6- to 10-year-olds are averaging about 8.9 hours of sleep on school nights – hours less than the 10 to 11 they should ideally be getting – and older kids get even less sleep, with 15- to 17-year-olds reporting just 7.1 hours of sleep per night. That’s troubling, Maas says, because that age group should be getting more like 9.25 hours of sleep every night.

That’s Golf! March 2, 2014 Opening Salvo

Script of the first segment airing on SportsTalk AM 1300 The Zone (KVET-AM), Austin, TX, USA

 

Fore RIGHT, Comrade!

Fore RIGHT, Comrade!

AS A RESPONSIBLE BROADCASTER, I WOULD HATE TO THINK THAT THIS PROGRAM ENCOURAGES BINGE DRINKING, IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY. THE URGE GENERALLY STRIKES RIGHT AFTER WE SIGN OFF THE AIR.

OF COURSE, YOUR HABITS ARE YOUR PREROGATIVE. GOLFERS WE KNOW ARE CREATURES OF ROUTINE. I’D JUST REMIND YOU THAT: 21 MEANS 21, AND SIX BEATS SEVEN.

I HOPE YOU AT LEAST SAW THE HIGHLIGHTS OF  LAST WEEK’S EXCITING MATCH PLAY FINAL. THE YOUNG, UNHERALDED FRENCHMAN, MONSIEUR DUBUISSON, HIT SOME ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS ESCAPES FROM THE DESERT, BEFORE FALLING TO ONE OF PERHAPS THE BEST OF AN EXCELLENT CROP OF YOUNG TOURING PROS, JASON DAY.

JUST ANOTHER EXCLAMATION POINT ON THE POWER OF SCRAMBLING. NO ONE PLAYS THIS GAME PERFECTLY. IT TAKES IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY ALONG WITH A BIT OF LUCK BUTTRESSING THE FUNDAMENTALS. A LITTLE MUNY GOLF ACTION FROM SOME OF THOSE ARIZONA LIES…FROM THE BASE OF A CACTUS, OFF THE ROCKS, AMAZING UP-AND-DOWNS.

GOLFERS PLAYING OUT IN ARIZONA WERE ONCE ADVISED TO CARRY A ‘ROCK’ IRON, A BEAT-UP 5-IRON, SAY, FOR THE SHOTS WHEN YOU LEFT THE GRASS. …JASON DAY THE WINNER ON THE 23RD HOLE. SOME FUN. NO LEAD IS SAFE IN MATCH PLAY, THAT’S THE BEAUTY OF IT. AND THAT’S WHY THE PRO TOURISTS FIND IT SO UNSETTLING, THE UNPREDICTABLE NATURE OF IT, ESPECIALLY WHEN PLAYED AT A HIGH LEVEL.

…OUR MOTTO ON THAT’S GOLF: GOTTA BE READY TO SCRAMBLE, AND FIVE BEATS SIX. JASON DAY, I’M GUESSING, IS CIRCULATING UPPERMOST IN THE MINDS OF THOSE THINKING AHEAD ABOUT THE  MASTERS.

…AND OUTSIDE THE TOY DEPARTMENT THIS WEEK, THERE CONTINUE TO BE PERILOUS DEVELOPMENTS IN A DISTANT PART OF THE WORLD, IN UKRAINE.

IT WAS THERE THAT WE HAD YET ANOTHER REMINDER OF THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES INTO WHICH GOLF SEEPS.  WE LEARNED OF THE EXCESSES OF OUSTED UKRANIAN PRESIDENT Viktor Yanukovych. NATURALLY, HE HAD A GOLF COURSE. IT WAS HERALDED AS A SIGN OF THAT EXCESS. HOW MUCH GOLF HE MIGHT’VE PLAYED IS A WORTHWHILE QUESTION.

I’M REMINDED OF BUTCH HARMON. A MEMBER OF THAT CELEBRATED CLAN, HE WAS ONCE EMPLOYED PERSONALLY BY THE KING OF MOROCCO, AN EXOTIC BUT LUCRATIVE POSTING. (AND I’M NOT IMPLYING IN ANY WAY THAT THE TWO NATIONS ARE SIMILAR.) THE KING WAS AN ENTHUSIASTIC, IF UNEXCEPTIONAL GOLFER, AND A GOOD FRIEND OF THE U.S. FOR MANY YEARS, WE LATER LEARNED, BEHIND THE SCENES IN THE MIDDLE EAST. LEE TREVINO AND BILLY CASPER VISITED MOROCCO  NUMEROUS TIMES, AND LEE TELLS AN INTERESTING STORY PLAYING WITH BUTCH AND THE KING, IN HIS BOOKS, THE SNAKE IN THE SANDTRAP.

…BUT DETAILS ON YANUKOVYCH’S GOLF REMAIN SKETCHY, AS DO MANY THINGS REGARDING HIS TIME LEADING ONE OF THE MOST CORRUPT REGIMES ON EARTH.

INSIDE HIS WALLED COMPOUND THERE WAS MUCH TO MARVEL OVER. MAYBE YOU SAW THE PHOTOS. ALONG WITH THE MANSIONS AND MANICURED LAWNS, there were, ONE REPORT NOTED: parks dotted with statues, ponds with fountains, THE OBLIGATORY PETTING ZOO, a tennis court, a golf course and a colonnaded pavilion. AT LEAST ONE GOLFER TURNED OUT TO ENJOY THE NEWLY-OPENED 18-HOLE COURSE. THERE WAS, apparently, A LEATHER GOLF BAG TOO, WITH THE PRESIDENT’S NAME INSCRIBED ON IT. REPORTEDLY holding GOLD GOLF CLUBS EMBLAZONED WITH HIS PERSONAL LOGO – PERHAPS FROM THE JAPANESE CLUBMAKER, HONMA – WERE ALSO TAKEN OUT FOR A SPIN. HARD TO SAY FROM THE EARLY REPORTS. HONMA’S TOP OF THE LINE CLUBS GO FOR SOME $75K A SET.

GOLF, I THINK WE CAN AGREE, IS PROBABLY NOT UPPERMOST IN THE FORMER UKRANIAN LEADER’S MIND AT PRESENT…MORE LIKE KEEPING HIS HEAD ATTACHED TO HIS BODY.

…AND THEN, ODDLY, A COINCIDENCE CLOSER TO HOME.

THERE WAS A BIG SPORTS MEMORABILIA AUCTION LAST WEEK – AN ALLEGED GAME-USED ROOKIE BAT BY SHOELESS JOE JACKSON FROM 1911 WENT FOR $958,000. The auction took place at the Ukrainian Institute of America IN NEW YORK CITY. WHO KNEW?

YOU’LL HAVE ALSO HEARD THAT WALLY PRYOR PASSED AWAY. I’M SURE THE GENTLEMEN OF THE BUFFET WILL HAVE MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE VOICE OF THE LONGHORNS. A GENTLEMAN AND A SWEETHEART. A LOVELY TRIBUTE.

THIS MORNING WE – IN THE CONGENIAL SNOBATORIUM THAT IS THE SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES, ALONG WITH EVERYONE WHO MAKES $14 THE HARD WAY – ALSO MOURN THE DEATH OF COMEDIAN HAROLD RAMIS. WE HAVE HIM, IN LARGE MEASURE, TO THANK FOR MOVIES LIKE ANIMAL HOUSE, GHOSTBUSTERS, STRIPES, AND HE COLLABORATED ON THE SCRIPT AND DIRECTED HIS FRIEND BILL MURRAY IN “GROUND HOG DAY.” BUT, WE ESPECIALLY HONOR HIS DIRECTORIAL DEBUT, WHICH WAS “CADDYSHACK.” THE LEGS OF THAT MOVIE CAME AS A CONSIDERABLE SURPRISE TO HAROLD RAYMIS. HE PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 69. A FUNNY MAN AND FUNNY WRITER.

AND, AS LIFE INCREASINGLY PAYS TRIBUTE TO ART, NO LESS THAN THE PRESIDENT, HIS OWN SELF, RELEASED A STATEMENT EXTENDING HIS THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO THE RAYMIS FAMILY, WITH A SLY CADDYSHACK REFERENCE.

AS REPORTED IN USA TODAY:

Obama said in a written statement Tuesday that his thoughts and prayers GO OUT TO THE Ramis family, and “all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.” UNQUOTE

THE REFERENCE TO “total consciousness” – GRASPED USA TODAY – HARKENS TO A quote uttered by Carl Spackler, PLAYED ADEPTLY by Bill Murray.

CRAZY CARL, YOU’LL RECALL, claims he once caddied for the Dalai Lama — “big hitter, the Lama” — but the religious leader failed to tip him.

“He says, ‘oh, uh, there won’t be any money — but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness,'” Spackler says, adding (famously): “So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”

I’VE SEEN PHOTOS OF A BUDDHIST MONK WHO PLAYS THE MUNYS IN SAN FRANCISCO IN HIS ROBES. PERHAPS HE’S A BETTER TIPPER THAN THE LAMA.

IN CASE YOU JUST HAPPEN TO BE SPANNING THE DIAL, THIS IS THE SHOW DEVOTED TO THE GAME WITHOUT PARTICIPANTS FACING FELONY GUN CHARGES. NO PRISON SCUFFLES FOR MURDER SUSPECTS. NO SCREAMING COACHES OR MANIACAL FANS. NO ACCUSATIONS OF CHOKING A WOMAN AT A PARTY, OR UNPROVOKED ATTACKS ON THEIR OWN EXPENSIVE VEHICLES WITH A BASEBALL BAT. JUST OCCASIONAL, UNFUNNY, BUFFOONERY, STUPID THINGS TWEETED IN SEARCH OF A CHEAP LAUGH.

THIS MONTH, IN ADVANCE OF THE MASTERS, WHICH, tomorrow, is less than 40 DAYS OFF, WE TURN OUR ATTENTION TO IMPROVEMENT. SOME OF THE SOUTH TEXAS PGA’S FINEST WILL JOIN ME TO AIR OUT YOUR GAME FOR SPRING. AND, WE’LL ALSO HAVE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL VISIT WITH THE PRO AT 8:30. IT’S ALL PART OF THE SERVICE.

OUR FORECAST:

AS HE HEAD TO OUR FIRST BREAK – THERE ARE NO TIME-OUTS IN GOLF – A QUICK ASIDE TO FILE UNDER ‘WHY THESE GUYS ARE DIFFERENT:’

ON THURSDAY’S ROUND Zach Johnson SHOT 67. He hit two shots into the water on his way to a quadruple-bogey 8 on his second hole of the tournament. HE THEN RESPONDED WITH seven birdies to get back in the game. SNOWMAN FOLLOWED BY SEVEN BIRDIES. COMPARE THAT WITH THE BLACK HOLE THAT WE FALL INTO WITH AN 8 ON THE SECOND HOLE OF A ROUND.

[AND WHAT A DIFFERENCE FOR RORY MCILORY. THIS WAS THE TOURNAMENT HE STORMED OFF LAST YEAR IN DISGUST. SEVEN OVER PAR AFTER EIGHT HOLES. THAT WAS THEN. AN OPENING-ROUND 63. HE LEADS HEADED INTO TODAY’S FINAL ROUND BY TWO STROKES. IN PURSUIT: Russell Henley, Russell Knox, FORMER LONGHORN Jhonny Vegas, Keegan Bradley & Luke Donald.]

I’M GLAD YOU COULD JOIN US. AN OSCAR (MADISON) PERFORMANCE. …RIDING BY CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN DOWNTOWN THE OTHER DAY I HAPPENED TO NOTICE THESE WORDS: “DELIBERATELY DIVERSE, FULLY INCLUSIVE.” SO IT HAPPENS IS THAT’S GOLF. AND THE PRESBYTERIAN INFLUENCE IS ONE OF LONGSTANDING IN THE AULD SCOTTISH GAME. THOSE SEMINARY STUDENTS WHO WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS TOOK GOLF ACROSS THE VICTORIAN BRITISH EMPIRE. WHY I BRING THIS UP IS JUST ONE OF ANY NUMBER OF TANGENTS WE MIGHT EXPLORE WITH STEVE DARBY, WHO JOINS US AFTER THE BREAK. THE LONGTIME PRO AT HISTORIC HANCOCK SIDLES BY NEXT.

YOU’RE LISTENING TO THAT’S GOLF HERE ON SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE.