Saturday, January 2

You, Me and Obama’s Golf Obsession

MICHELLE COTTLE’S COMMENTARY about President Obama’s “dangerous obsession with golf” has alerted me that I may be a hopeless golf addict who exhibits many undesirable attributes. And you might be in the same foursome with me, my friend.

Cottle is a senior editor for The New Republic. She has a problem—several, really—with 44’s affection for the small dimpled ball.

“Why would a leader vowing to shake up Washington—to alter the very nature of politics—sell his soul to a leisure activity that screams stodgy, hyperconventional Old Guard?” she asks.

By carefully reading her article, I learned several things about my favorite pastime and what it might say about you, me and the president of these United States. For instance, she outlines telltale signs of a “creeping golf addiction,” such as:

• Playing for more than a decade
• Playing for cash
• Fretting about form
• Goading others to leave work early for a round of golf
• Constantly looking to squeeze in a few holes

Where might it all lead? To dark, risky places, according to Cottle.

“In the popular imagination, golf is the stuff of corporate deal-cutting, congressional junkets, and country club exclusivity,” she writes.

(Clearly, my golf addiction has been short-changing me.)

There’s more.

“And, unless a president is very careful, a golf habit can easily be spun as evidence of unseemly character traits ranging from laziness to callousness to out-of-touch elitism.”

(I definitely think I have the laziness down. But my out-of-touch elitism needs work.)

For the president to revamp his image in the new year, Cottle says “he could start by ditching golf.” If she knew I liked golf as much as the president, she might say the same thing to me.

They say the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. I have a problem. I miss too many four-footers. Now excuse me while I groove my putting stroke in the den.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: Roberto De Vido/Flickr)


Mike said...

I think Cottle's problem is simple: Golf envy. Maybe she just doesn't think it takes any balls to run a country. ;-D

Patricia Hannigan said...

I hate to break this to you Neil but I don't think you'll ever master the out of touch elitism... you may as well just work on the laziness. ;)

Average Golfer said...

Typical bluster. Still, in the face of this recession, golf has always had an "elitism" PR problem.

Vince Spence said...

The chief executive of a company, a football team, a family or even a nation cannot best serve his constituents by working sixteen hour work days seven days per week.

The POTUS works more hours and earns less money than any executive of any type anywhere on the planet. To say he should not play a sport, whether it be golf, tennis or tiddly-winks, is ludicrous. More than anyone, he needs time off to refresh his mind and spirit.

If the POTUS is 'working' more than fifty hours per week, he needs a new chief-of-staff.

Peter said...

If every statement from Cottle's article were true, I am seriously missing out on the real point of golf. I always thought you played because it was fun, but looks like I need to swing some backroom deals over the 3rd tee box.

Heather said...

Ms. Cottle would have a field day with me. Thank goodness I'm not planning on running for POTUS—EVER!

She seems to believe golf is contrary to the "modern family." My modern family loves to spend time together on the links-away from all "modern" electronic devices. We actually engage in good old-fashioned conversation. How crazy is that?