In the U.S. it was originally played by mostly rich white men but now it has widened to include, well, rich and powerful men. There are a few professional gals here and there and some “ethnic color” sprinkled across the immaculate expanse of manicured green—and incidentally, one of them is the source of the golf-gate rancor surrounding the president (even though he says he is not black).
The Sunday morning political gabfest on television networks are all atwitter about President Barack Obama’s golfing with Tiger Woods. Members of the press and pundits alike are lambasting Obama for shutting them out to his time with Tiger. They are crying foul, and TV hosts are asking whether Obama, of all our recent presidents, gives the least amount of access to the press. Bill Plante of CBS News, who has covered presidents for decades, beginning with Ronald Reagan, joined the panel on CNN’s Reliable Sources to express his disapproval.
Others are going further in their criticism, questioning Obama's choice of golfing buddy. Forget that Tiger Woods is the best in the sport—if the president wants to get tips on his putting, he should go elsewhere, for the best golfer is also a notorious womanizer.
I find it deeply amusing that critics have chosen Tiger’s sex life as the benchmark to measure the president’s judgment. Did the pro golfer kill anyone? Embezzle money? Sell US secrets? Pal around with terrorists? Rape anyone? Molest children? Cause the financial collapse?
Ironically, the president and members of Congress continue to play golf and associate closely with those bankers and Wall Street players whose risky behavior caused the financial collapse—but we do not hear a furor over that, do we?
These self-righteous pundits, politicians, members of the press corps and talking heads who are indignantly calling out Obama’s playing with Tiger without inviting the press to see him on his downtime, are clutching at minutia. Has it been a slow news week? I’m sure if they look, they can easily find myriad crises to cover.
There's the sequester and its dire consequences; unemployment still very high; the lagging economy; talk of a second recession; our crushing debt; gun violence; Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius' stunning fall from grace as he is charged with murder; the Middle East's ongoing crisis; Africa’s woes; rising poverty and homelessness; drone misuse; our substandard public education; mass incarceration; our failed war on drugs; the rising cost of college tuition and high-interest loans that may cause our next bubble; our corrupt political system; the hasty exit of the pontiff; ex-cop Christopher Dorner's claims of dangerous corruption in our police departments, namely the LAPD. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.
So why is there all this deep psychological analysis over a little private golf with Tiger? I can assure you he wasn’t propositioning the president. Don't forget Tiger prefers them tall, blond and female.
[Just an aside: Have you noticed that while we are packed like sardines in many cities across America, the best real estate is parceled off for golf and churches?]