OK, I adjusted to watching the PGA Tour without Tiger Woods. I ditched the fist-pump for a Padraig Harrington-like grimace and started a stretching program to read greens like Camilo Villegas instead of conferring with my imaginary Steve Williams.
But I don’t think I can watch a Senior Skins Game without Arnold Palmer.
For the first time since 1997, Palmer won’t be playing in this year’s Senior Skins Game at Royal Ka'anapali Golf Course in Hawaii on Jan. 17-Jan. 18, according to The Honolulu Advertiser. Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson played in the original made-for-television Skins Game in 1983. Nicklaus, Player and Watson will all be at Ka'anapali, but Palmer opted out according to promoters, who did not give a reason.Palmer, 79, played in 20 Senior Skins, missing only in 1997 when he was recovering from prostate cancer surgery. He won in 1990, '92 and '93. Watching Palmer now, you can see that he's clearly pained by the effect of age on his golf and how much it hurts him — the game’s ultimate showman — to hit a wild slice in front of his still-adoring fans. But if you’re healthy, Arnie, please play the Senior Skins Game. We don’t care what you shoot, we just love watching how you play.