My brother-in-law said as I mumbled something about having to go to the U.S. Women’s Open this past week that there was, after all, nothing else to write about.
“What nonsense,” I said. “There’s Little League!” And, indeed, our 9 and 10-year-olds were not to disappoint on the evening of July 1 as they took the wind out of Westhampton’s sails, by a score of 10-0, a merciless rout that was ended mercifully after four innings instead of the customary six.
“Are we going to be in the newspaper?” Jackson Baris, one of Tim Garneau’s players, asked as that game began. “Yes, you will, but I’d rather write about you winning than losing,” I said.
I’m glad to say the kids obliged. One wants upbeat things to write about if you’re like me, without having to take pains, such as you might in following golfers around 300 acres, however breathtakingly beautiful they may be.
And so, knowing that my favorite photographer was eager to go, I, aside from a brief visit to Sebonack with my brother-in-law Friday afternoon, decided to watch it on TV.
And I’m glad I did. The TV crew and commentators made far more sense of things than I, an avid non-golfer, ever could, and you couldn’t get any more upbeat than Inbee Park, who calmly took the course apart, winning her third straight major this year, tying a record set by Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1950.
You’ve got to hand it to these South Koreans. How do they do it? I doubt they have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars over there to join a club like Sebonack. To talk of democratizing the game when such obscene figures are involved seems absurd, though I know efforts are being made here. The First Tee national school program, about which I wrote recently, is in our schools now, and I’m mindful as well that a good number of private clubs, the Bridge, Maidstone, South Fork, and the East Hampton Golf Club among them, have beenvery helpful when it comes to supporting high school golf teams.
Still, you wonder. Once the kids learn, where will they play? Montauk Downs maybe, which I’m told stacks up quite well when compared to the private courses out here. That’s where my brother-in-law plays, even on New Year’s Day.
And even he (as I too have vowed) has said he’ll never go to another U.S. Men’s Open. There’s one coming to Shinnecock in 2018. I had to buy periscopes the last time a Men’s Open was played there, forbidden, as I was, to venture inside the ropes. “Periscope-a-dope,” Muhammad Ali would have called it. The good news is that I’ll either be retired or dead by then, perhaps both. Or just dead.