A few years back, I can’t recall exactly who, but one of the major golf companies had an ad campaign featuring the great Annika Sorenstam (or it could have been Michelle Wie), both amazing athletes, and the gist of the commercials was the concept in sports “play like a girl.”
Now, when I was growing up on the cement playground of Heliotrope Elementary School in Maywood California, if someone said, “you play like a girl,” it wasn’t considered a compliment. Them’s fightin’ words in more colorful terms. You didn’t want anyone telling you that for any reason.
Pan back to the aforementioned commercials. The words “play like a girl” are the cornerstone and the perfect platform. Then Annika (or Michelle) step up to a teed-up golf ball and effortlessly launch drives that MOST men (MANY PGA pros included in that number) would give their right arm to hit. Annika’s length was so prodigious on the women’s tour, it led her to a brief flirtation with playing in men’s PGA events. She was the closest thing the women had to offer the golf world in the wake of the force that was Tiger Woods. I don’t think Annika’s effect on young girls (and if they’d admit it) young boys, has been given her full due. She rocks.
And I keep telling domestic despot Osama bin KAREN that “if Michelle Wie knew I was here in Avondale, Arizona, she’d be here so fast your head would spin.” She just rolls her eyes.
The game of golf is The Great Equalizer.
You can be a one-legged, one-eyed, one-armed, club-footed leper-pigmy Tasmanian devil with bad breath, but if you can drop putts and score birdies, you will have instant respect for your game on ANY course. Of course, you would also need to be able to pass the dress code (or slip the Marshall a 20-spot).
The game will send you through the entire gamut of emotions (as you know, I’m a big emotions guy). Fear, hesitancy, trepidation, annoyance, doubt, terror, elation, sorrow, despair, grief, and yes, a moment or two of whimsy.
And that’s just before you tee off to start the round. (Keep ‘em in the short grass).
Talk about humbling experiences.
I was working for a national restaurant company in Tucson, AZ which had a sponsorship role with the Tucson Open played at The National. We were on the course with privileges and we took full advantage. We got so close to watch these thoroughbreds in action, it was WAY beyond a fan experience.
So, the day before the tournament starts we happen to be following a group of four ladies (more like girls, actually), and their bags identified their affiliation with the University of Arizona’s golf team. Not trying to stereotype at all, but each golfer was blonde, tan, beautiful, medium-tall, blue or green eyes, and they blasted the ever-loving shit out of their drives. I think the shortest drive was somewhere around oh, about fifty yards longer than I have ever hit the ball. We learned later that one of the golfers was indeed Ms. Sorenstam.
Hit like a girl?
Sign me up.