Jeff Summitt’s Olympic Musings

If you were like me, you were glued to your TV set watching the 29th Olympiad in what seemed like non-stop coverage around the clock. My hat’s off to the people of China for being such great hosts and showing their national pride in their first ever Olympics (and also not delaying any of my new golf clubs samples too). Congratulations to all the medal winners (“USA! USA! USA!”), as well as all the athletes who received nothing other than to participate for their respective countries.

Ooh the Madness…beach volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, track and basketball, plus watching all those sports you don’t get to see very often except every four years like badminton, sculling, fencing and trampoline.  But next time NBC, throw us a bone.  Some of us live on the Eastern Time zone and work for a living and no, I don’t own a TiVo!

But golf?  Why no golf?  We got to see BMX bicycle racing – not exactly a traditional sport.  After all, golf has been around for over 500 years.  But then again, the Olympic committee dropped the Hop, Skip and Jump years ago and women’s softball will be dropped after this year.  Was it because some of the equestrian events were held on a golf course?  Well, hello! China has to have another course somewhere in their vast country.  Where is this Pine Valley I hear so much about?

I think I know why golf is not an Olympic sport or at least why I think it shouldn’t.  Forgive me, but number One it would be boring.  Not “boring” boring, but just more of the same old thing.  Ask yourself what makes the Olympics so special?  You get to see sports you don’t have an opportunity to see all the time or special match-ups that happen only in a great once in a while. Even men’s basketball is unique because you can cheer “USA! USA! USA!” when we play the Aussies, the Spaniards or the Soviets.

You must first realize as well as appreciate that the PGA and LPGA Tours are very international.  For 40+ weeks a year you can plop down on the couch and watch the best players from all over the world.  On top of that, four times a year you are treated to major championships featuring the best of the best again, from all over the world.  And yet if that is still not enough you have the Ryder Cup ever two years.  Just think less than a month away!  “USA! USA! USA!”  But the Olympics are held only ever four years.  Maybe if the tour was less international I would care that it is missing.  Long Drive – forgetaboutit – stringent drug testing. (Hint to the Olympic committee: Team Putt Putt)

As you may know, the majority of golf club heads are produced in China. As far as I know, none of the foundries shut down these past two weeks so I was able to receive some long awaited samples.  One of which was a new driver head we are all very excited about.  It was going to be called the Usain Bolt (or Bolt for short) named after the Jamaican runner who not only won, but shattered the world records in both the Men’s 100 and 200 sprints.  The Bolt will be longest club in the world, propelling the ball faster than any club every produced. But somehow I have this sneaking suspicion the USGA is going to deem it non-conforming.  We will wait and see on that project…

I want to leave you on one side note. The number 8 was special for many reasons during this Olympiad.  In Chinese culture 8 is a lucky number.  It was probably no coincidence the opening ceremonies were held on 08/08/08. Eight was also the number of gold medals that Michael Phelps brought home to the USA. In remembrance for his remarkable accomplishment you will no longer will you have an 8 or a snowman on a scorecard.  From now on I think it should be called a Michael Phelps or simply Phelps for short.  “Hey Johnny, what did you get on that hole?  Carl, put me down for a Phelps.”

…now let’s get back on that golf course as we can patiently wait another four more years until the next Olympiad in London to see team handball.

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