As most of you know I comment weekly on the LPGA Tour. Early in the season I blasted the LPGA because I felt that the action on that tour was stilted. I have to retract my earlier statements and add that the LPGA Tour is both alive and well! With the addition of a new "crew" of young talent and a new slogan "These Girls Rock" the LPGA is being watched by more viewers than ever before!
The PGA Tour was never in danger of losing viewership. The guys have the wherewithall to hit the ball a great distance longer than their female counterparts. Longer shots usually equal more excitement. I heard yesterday that Stuart Appleby can hit the ball over 400 yards on occasion! That's immense! Annika, on the other hand, can hit a drive about 280 regularly. The women also play golf from the men's tee whereas the men are all the way backat the tournament tees. Talk about a disparity.
But I must admit that my level of excitement was equally shared between both the President's Cup played out this weekend and the Solheim Cup which was completed several weeks ago.
I will try to examine what I find so irresistable about both tournaments.
Both are team sports. Golf is usually played as a single. You can go out and play by yourself on a golf course or hook up with a few golfers who need a fourth but it's still you against yourself. Not with these two events. It's almost like college golf which pits team against team.
Not only is are two teams facing off but its the rest of the world challenging the United States. Why is it always that way? Most of the guys on ROW play golf alongside the Americans weekly. Most have received their college education as well as their golf training in the States. So why do we have to watch these two teams square off? What are they trying to prove? Is it just for the sport or is it because the media understand that people already enjoy watching sports like football, where two teams challenge each other for a prize of some kind?
Well, it works! I can't keep my eyes off of it! I cheer until my throat gets raw whenever the Americans are up against any other team. It could also be world events that causes me to cheer so loudly for the home team. I mean, everyone in the world seems to have a beef with the USA but at the same time when they need us they're our buddies.
Okay, back to why I love this kind of competition. I think I root for the Americans because I happen to know who they are, steir stories and their faces. I don't really know all of the ROW team although I ry watch European golf whenever I can. But, in the case of Trevor Immelman versus Stewart Cink I had no favorites but still chanted "USA" "USA" whenever I saw a red hat.
In regard to the Solheim Cup I was also pleased with the look of the team as a whole. The outfits were very smart and the talent on Team USA decorated themselves with glittery American flags and red, white and blud nailpolish. Because THEY really got into it, so did I!
The European Solheim Cup team, on the other hand, wre all dressed in black, from head to toe. It almost looked as if I was witnessing a funeral. When I was little, older ladies who came from Italy used to wear alot of black. They didn't speak much English and nodded alot. It looked okay on them I guess because they were elderly but it made the younger European golfers seem a bit frightening.
Lastly, I think I enjoyed the Solheim Cup just a wee bit more than I did the President's Cup. Although I was happy that both USA teams won, I felt more in tune with the women. Okay, being a woman helps. I can more easily identify with a woman's golf swing than with her male counterpart. And I also enjoy trying to pick out which swing more closely resembles mine.
In conclusion I'm happy that these team sports exist. Team spirit allows the masses to cheer for their heroes and gives us yet another outlet which is considered to be a sport for individuals. I just wish that when I was younger I had the opportunity to learn about golf. Parents should understand the balance of sports and knowledge and try to give their kids a balance of the two. It would have been great to represent my school in team unison and feel the cameradierie which was evident in both these competitions.
My Tribute to Life in the Blue Ridge - *After thousands of golf stories, I want to share on other topics. This commentary is autobiographical and appeared in the Sunday Roanoke Times a few week...
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