Three bypasses and a two-wheeler

My mother-in-law asked me over the weekend, how do I feel about Adam Scott, Louie Oosthuizen and Vijay Singh bypassing the upcoming Olympics.  I think by the time I finished my answer, my mother-in-law was delighted that the ignition still worked on her car, and she was able to back out of the driveway, as I was saying, “and ya know what else…?”

Adam Scott and Louie Oosthuizen are two of my favourite players, in part because I think they’re great players,  and more importantly, I like their demeanor and their apparent class and good taste.  They seem like fine gentlemen, and good sports, and that’s what I appreciate most in professional golfers.  I’m hugely surprised, disappointed, angry, dumbfounded, and critical of their decision not to play.

(I’m not a fan of Vijay Singh’s, so we can dispense with further discussion on him… although I’m not surprised at all by his decision.  Vijay has always struck me as one of the most self-centred people on the Tour, so his Olympic bypass just seems to be in character.)

There’s a lot of inconvenience and even lack of enticement to golf’s return to the Olympics, for sure.  It’s jammed into the most important few weeks of the pro golf season.  It’s a long way to go, to Brazil.  The logistics of the trek, with clubs, caddies (maybe, maybe not), and security will be a nightmare.  It may cost a fair amount of money, as I’m not sure whether all or some or none of the golfers will be subsidized by their countries.  (I would hope that no PGA Tour players would ask for expense compensation.)  The format – yawn, 72 holes of individual play – is dull and boring, when it could have been a much more interesting and creative team format.  The atmosphere in Rio may be a circus.  And who’s to say that some lunatic with a dirty bomb won’t use the spectacle of the games to create mayhem in the cause of some fanatical religion or cause that nobody believes in or cares about?

But so what?  Suck it up, boys!

If I was a multimillionaire pro golfer, or just what I am – a poverty-stricken old man with a 12 handicap – I’d be giving several body parts to go to the Olympics, represent my country, and compete.  Just to have the honour of qualifying, and invited to play… to experience the thrill of being among the best athletes in my country, and the world… to walk into the stadium and be part of the opening and closing ceremonies… and best of all, to have the opportunity to stand on a podium and possibly have a $10 piece of metal hung around my neck… I mean, come on.

You denigrate yourselves, you snub your fans, and you insult the game that’s made you multimillionaires, by refusing to go.  And for what… so you can make a few more dollars?  I mean, come on.


I got a news release a couple of weeks ago from Granite Golf Club, a private club in Stouffville, announcing that they were going to be introducing “golf bikes” for their members and guests this season.

“The Golf Bike was conceived 15 years ago by avid cyclist Todd May as a means of combining his passions of biking and playing golf. A prototype was first demonstrated in 2010 and the concept was presented at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando three years ago. The bike has made significant inroads since its commercial introduction,” said the release.

And I say, jolly good for you, Granite Golf!!

I had not heard of or seen the golf bike until I got this release.  In my view, even without trying one yet, this is the best new golf development to come along since, well, the electric cart.  If everyone who can, used a golf bike, rounds would be reduced by at least half-an-hour, people would get even more enjoyable, low-impact exercise, and even older people could play more golf… especially if there was a mo-ped option (which I don’t think there is, yet.)

Golf bikes may not work on “hillier” courses, and of course, there’s always the chance of injury and the question of liability.  But I think Granite’s totally on the right path here, pardon the analogy, and I’d love to see this initiative duplicated everywhere it might work.

I mean, come on…

Jim Deeks
Jim Deeks has been writing for Fairways for over a dozen years. He is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Open and Canadians Skins Game, and currently the Executive Producer of CANADA FILES on PBS.

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