Saturday, July 19, 2008


Over at the LPGA State Farm Classic, Michelle Wie finished her third round alone in second place, one stroke behind leader Yani Tseng.

But hey...! Forget all that. The LPGA bambergered her this afternoon for a technical violation of an arguably inane card-signing rule, a "crime" committed yesterday that has nothing to do with playing it as it lays, except that it's in the book and so conveniently available to shut her down.

Too bad. I guess some people can't stand to see this talented kid win. The world of "official" golf is full of officious draconian creeps, and grinch golf be damned if it can't clean up its miniature-minded act.

Grrrr... Deep breaths.

Ok, so the rule about signing your card is "at the heart of the honor system" and everybody is really, really sorry but it had to be done. I guess I can step back and agree that games have rules, where life has guidelines, and games can be black and white, where life has shades of gray (not to mention a million indefinably gorgeous colors), and everybody agrees to play by the rules, whereas in life everybody agrees to live and let live, guided mostly by mercy.

Because it's a game, because it's only a toy, because it's life in miniature, because it's mutually agreed, a rule is a rule is a rule and no penalty for the least infraction of a rule can possibly be injustice. That's logic. But it's Queen of Hearts logic. It's "Off with her head!" logic. And it's stupid.

Golf teaches nobody anything worth knowing about life, except that the filthy rich have the best playgrounds. If you have a talent for this absurd pastime, you have to love it for the thrill of beating the Bushwood crowd at their own game.

In the old days, in Presbyterian Scotland, maybe golf was democratic — but it was always sharpedged and bloody unfair, too. There is an old argument, remember, that golf was invented by the Devil; in Heaven, par for the course is 18.



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