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Who doesn’t want to be King? If three of the greatest Americans of the 20th century—Arnold Palmer, Richard Petty and Elvis Presley—sported the nickname “King,” you know it must be good. Heck, even Mel Brooks told us in “History of the World, Part I” that “It’s good to be the King.” So, for this column only, I get to be the King of Golf. Make me the King and the following will occur:


LAW


Decree Number 1: THE GUY WHO YELLS— ANYTHING—IMMEDIATELY UPON A PRO GOLFER STRIKING A BALL WILL BE EJECTED FROM THE GROUNDS IMMEDIATELY, PREFERRABLY WITH AN “EJECT” BUTTON THAT VAULTS HIM INTO THE STRATOSPHERE. Neither I, nor anybody else, wants to hear from that guy. You


know the guy. The guy who wants his loud, coarse, ear-splitting voice to be heard urging the golf ball struck by Adam Scott or Justin Rose or Tiger Woods or, heck, anybody, to “GET IN THE HOLE!!” or that it’s so good, it’s “MASHED POTA- TOES!!” We certainly don’t want to hear that the player who struck the ball is informed that “YOU DA MAN!!”, either. There is a reason for this Decree. The reason is, that guy who yells has disrupted our enjoyment of the golf. He has inserted himself, uninvited, into our environment, and


done so in a clumsy, irritating manner. He has added nothing to the proceedings—not golf wisdom, nor insight. Instead, he has lowered the IQ of all around him with an inane cheer that holds no meaning. Plus, it hurts our ears. Plus, he sounds stupid. •••


Decree Number 2: CART PATHS WILL BE ABOLISHED AND TURNED INTO DIRT. Where in the Rules of Golf does it say a golf shot has the


right to land on a concrete cart path, and skyrocket into oblivion or, worse, O.B.? Answer: nowhere. Listen, golf is hard enough without seeing a well-struck drive miss the fairway by a few yards and then—BOING!—seeing it bounce like it hit a trampoline, never to be seen again. There should be a rule about being able to drop your ball near a cart path when it hits one of those infernal things. In fact, as King of Golf, I am making that rule right now. The only reason there isn’t a rule nullifying the outrageously deleterious and unnatural effect of cart paths


72 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2013


MURPHY’S


on golf balls is because when the boys in Scotland created this beautiful game there were NO CONCRETE CART PATHS. Oh, I’m sorry. Did I raise my voice?


••• Decree Number 3: NO GOLF COURSES SHALL


BE BUILT IN WHICH “TARGET GOLF” IS THE PRIMARY DESIGN ELEMENT.


Alister MacKenzie had a controlling theme in his golf course


designs, that golf courses should challenge the best players, yet remain “playable” to players of all skill levels. What a concept. You’d think the guy who laid out Cypress Point and Augusta National and Royal Melbourne might know a thing or a million about what makes a golf course great. And yet, in an effort to reinvent the wheel, modern golf courses have decided to narrow, toughen, and artficially create “chal- lenges”—like forced carry and target golf—for what reason, I don’t know.


Here’s what the new King of Golf has to say: Those courses are abolished. Golf courses from here on out will follow traditional, 1920s principles of design, like flow and intimacy of routing. Leave your phony course tricks back in the circus, architects of the future. •••


Decree Number 4: BRING BACK CADDIES,


EVERYWHERE. The phrase “pace of play” has become to golf what “infla-


tion” was to the 1970s. Even the USGA has gone “Caddyshack” on us and made an ad campaign called “While We’re Young” to encourage speedier play. After all, golf is more enjoyable when there’s crispness to the pace, a rhythm to the round. One of the biggest culprits of slow play is the eternal “search for the lost golf ball.” After all, some of us (cough, cough) hit drives a little crooked every now and then, and the search for the wayward Titleist or Calla- way or Flying Lady can turn into a marathon. My solution: Bring back the lost art of the caddie. Get kids involved, ready to find errant tee shots, clean clubs, read putts, learn great golf phrases like “Let the big dog eat!” and be part of the game’s future. This helps the economy, by


giving kids summer jobs; this helps your game, as you don’t get seriously aggravated by saying “I swear it landed in front of this bush!” over and over; and this helps parents at home, as teenag- ers won’t sleep til noon and play video games, because they have to get to their jobs as caddies. •••


Decree Number 5: BEER CARTS WILL BE DOUBLED IN QUANTITY ON GOLF COURSES, AND THE BEER WILL BE ICE COLD. Because, after all, the King is thirsty.


BRIAN MURPHY hosts the KNBR morning show “Murph and Mac” and was the San Francisco Chronicle’s golf writer from 2001-2004.

















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