Open Letter to Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner
My back hurts. I’ve got blisters on my feet and I just shot my
third straight 90-plus round. Golf is a stupid game. What am I, a
complete boob? A moron? I hereby vow never to subject myself to
another round of this insipid abuse. See ya on the beach, old pal.
I’m addressing this letter to you because you’re the guy in
charge of the Tour, and I’ve been trying to emulate those guys
for so long it feels like forever. It looks so easy when Bubba and
the Gang tee it up. But it’s just not working for me anymore…I
can’t go on like this.
My bowling ball has been retrieved from the closet and shined.
I pumped up the old basketball yesterday and my tennis racket
now leans in the corner where my golf clubs were. (By the way,
know anyone who could use a set of Taylor Made irons? I’ll pass
‘em along cheap.) I really can’t believe that anyone can take golf
seriously. I’ve come to agree with Mark Twain’s adage: “Golf is a
I’d also have to agree with the noted golf writer Jack Berry
when he said, “You can improve your game 100 percent by quit-
ting.” I’ll take that piece of advice and do hereby reclaim my
right to wander aimlessly through the fields and meadows of life
without frustrating the bejeezus out of myself with inanities and
banalities such as, Is my left arm straight at takeaway? and, I
wonder which way the ball will break as it rolls across the ridge?
and, Why do I hit it there every time I play this (bleeping) hole?
I want the freedom to think more eloquent and poetic thoughts
as I spend my time in nature. I want to delight in the fragrance
of the flowers and the sway of butterflies. I want to sit quietly and
hear the birds busily singing in the trees, not blast them from
their nests with hopelessly errant 9-iron shots.
I want to picnic under the majestic oaks with a fine bottle of
pinot noir and some imported fromage, whispering sweet nothings into my honey’s ear, not root like a hog for my Titleist that is
always blocked from the fairway behind 10 trees or has come to
rest under a thick bush. Do I look like a demented masochist to
you? Or only act like one?
“There is cruelty in golf, cold, hurting cruelty,” said Henry
Leach in 1914. “The difference between the effect of boxing and
the effect of golf on the human system is that golf hurts more and
the pain is more enduring, for it is psychological.” I’m starting to
catch his drift in a big way.
Please ask my friends if they can help me quit, sir...maybe an
intervention is in order. They need to stop asking me if I have
plans on Saturday and realize this is a sickness. I’m thinking of
forming a local chapter of Golfers Anonymous. “Hello. My name
is George and I’m a golfer. I had an episode yesterday—I called
for a tee time.”
Maybe you need some help quitting, too? I know that as PGA
TOUR Commissioner—and a traditionalist to boot I understand—
you’ll have some trouble coming out of the closet about it, but
just let me know. There must be legions of golfers across the land
who just need a little encouragement in this matter so they can
once and for all cease with the self-abuse and get on with the task
of putting their lives back together. That’s why I’ve decided to go
public, so perhaps I can serve as an example to others that we
can beat this golfing habit forever.
Mr. Commissioner, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way,
but I simply can’t go on like this. Thanks for your understanding.
P.S.—Are we still on for 18 at Sawgrass this weekend?