An Argument for Watching Golf

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I watched some golf this weekend.

Not a lot.

I mean, I had things to do.

But the golf was on the TV, and during the course of the weekend I watched with varring levels of concentrated focus.

I used to watch golf regularily. Watchng golf was as much a part of my sunday afternoon as napping.

Mostly because the two went hand in hand.

I learned that one could nap on the couch while watching golf. The body would rest and when the ears detected the faint sound of applause an eye could sleepily open,  catch the replay, and then continue snoozing.

It was a great routine.

The routine is gone and that's okay. I would far rather spend an afternoon joyously playing with my daughter or doing pretty much anything with Sheena. Who, by the way, does not enjoy the watching of the golf.

Possibly the best argument for watching golf is this: A Golf broadcast is one of the most education programs on Television.

I mean, consider the lengths to which the commentators go to try and help me be a better golfer. They analyse every aspect of a great players game: stance, swing, posture, addressing the ball, focus, how to read a green, club selection, ball selection, laying up, routine, clothing selection, sponsors, everything.

I stop watching golf a better golfer.

And not because I went online and bought a new driver.

But because next time I'm teeing off, I'm thinking about what my hands are doing. Or because I'm thinking about what I'm doing with my feet, or where my head is looking, or which part of my body is crating the momentum.

I learn.

I become better.

It is certainly more educational than any other sports coverage. I don't learn how to have a more accurate slap shot from watching hockey. I don't learn to catch a ball from football. I don't learn to dunk from watching basketball. I don't learn to ride my bike watching the Tour de France.

I would love it if a baseball commentator walked through the steps of climbing the center field wall once.

But golf teaches you everything, including that if you wanted to become a pro you needed to pick the game up by the time you were 10.

And I watch a variety of programming: cooking shows, home renovation shows, game shows, news casts, sporting events, consumer education programming, auto shows, situation comedies, dramas, "reality" television, and anything featuring Hanson.

And yes, some of them are educational.

But American Idol doesn't try and help me become a better singer.

I can't learn to wire my home watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

And cooking shows have a lot of tips and techniques, but not to the extent of golf. Has a phrase anything like, "now, keep your feet shoulder width apart as you address the meat" ever been ever been uttered by the iron chef?

Not that I've heard.

Perhaps more shows could learn from the golf commentators and try and pick it up the educational factor a bit.

What sorts of shows do you find educational?