If there is one thing that we can’t read enough about in your columns, it is flatulence. So give us an inside-the-ropes insight on gas. Who are the Tour leaders, which caddies are forced to walk alone, who has had to back away from putts thanks to their playing partner’s indelicacies and, of course, does Tiger’s gas stink? — Rick D., Winter Garden, FL
Rick, you are one sick puppy. Thanks for the ripeness of your question. First, Tiger doesn’t actually fart, he pays Steve Williams to fart for him. (I think IMG takes 20 percent off the top). Steve is without question one of the best, and most athletic, farters I have ever heard, and he has the added bonus of being a fragrance-free guy. On the first tee at the 2000 PGA Championship, in front of thousands, he tore off an immense air-biscuit that covered every note in about a five-octave range, and finished with an 1812 overture cannon blast. I believe his feet might have left the deck for a second. I can’t remember in which round it occurred, but if you have the tape, look for the one where Tiger is laughing uncontrollably as he is announced on the first tee.
I’m a 46-year-old black male who despised golf for no other reason than because I thought it was a “good-old-boy sport.” Then along came Tiger. Now I find myself reading and watching everything I can get my hands on. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I find your columns. I have been reading them for the last year or so and I can’t get enough. Thank you for some of the best laughs I have ever had. There is nothing like trying to explain to my wife what you’re talking about. It’s one of the last bastions in my marriage where I still get the last word! Thanks. — Danny Hitchens, Long Beach
Danny, thanks for the very kind note. I wish you would explain what I’m talking about to my wife! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this isn’t a “good-old-boy” sport. It still is (at least at the amateur level), but for me that just makes what Tiger’s doing even more special. I love the fact that he doesn’t have a race card in his deck. It gives him such dignity. He’s not bitter, just better.
Do you feel, as I do, that every pro who says “we did this” or “we did that” when talking about his round should pay his caddie 50 percent? — Kevin Mizner, Lisbon Falls, ME
Kevin, it’s funny, but after the round when I interview the caddie (which I often do first, to get the real story) I hear, “we made birdie here” and “he made bogey there.” A caddie never drops a shot.
I enjoy your television work and your column. What I don’t enjoy is tuning in to watch golf and having to wait 45 minutes to an hour to find out full-field scores. There must be a logical reason for this, since every network carrying golf does the same exact thing. The possible reason for such a delay, however, totally escapes me. If you know the reason, could you please pass it along to me? I hate to be the only person in America so ignorant that I cannot understand executive decisions such as this.
— Bob Wright, Niceville, FL
Bob, don’t feel so bad about not understanding the decisions of our network execs. I don’t either, but the bottom line is, televised sport is about numbers, not sport. For example, the reason the LPGA players don’t play for as much cash as the guys on the PGA Tour is due to the fact that not nearly as many people are interested in watching them. Therefore, the 30-second commercial slots sell for considerably less. In tennis, the girls are just as, if not more, interesting than the guys, and draw similar numbers of viewers. I’m sorry, what was the question again?
Oh yes…you seldom see full-field scores on the weekend because by that stage, the field has been thinned out to just a few guys with a realistic chance of winning the tournament, and even though we all have our favorite golfers, it’s not particularly relevant to the story of the event (unless it’s Tiger) to show how they’re doing. Not everyone is a total zoned-out putterhead with no life, a herd of pet gerbils, and a tendency to dress up like that big policeman in the Village People like you and me. The Golf Channel should fill the massive void left by the absence of information. God, I miss Peter Kessler.