Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bob Hope Chrysler Classic - Blast from the past.

I'm not saying the PGA Tour needs more Pro/Am events, but this one's a gem. The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic offers a diversion for the serious golf fan and they've been doing it for 46 years. The five days, the celebrity format, the four different courses all add up to a unique event.

George Lopez, verified golf nut, and a pretty good stick, resurrected the event in the wake of Bob's death. He's the quintessential host, loved by all, but serious about maintaining the tournament. It's fun to watch him and his compatriots, Huey Lewis, Samuel L. Jackson, Yogi Berra, Alice Cooper, etc. hack their way around. I noticed that Kenny G. and Michael Bolton were playing. Do you think if they were paired together there would be monumental trash talking about who's the king of elevator music? Is it easy to picture Samuel L. pulling a 14th club (UZI) from his bag and vaporizing a rules violator?

All this harks back to yesteryear. Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Palmer, Nicklaus, Doug "nice shoes" Sanders. The aforementioned pros all being past champions. And how do you forget David Duval's mind boggling 59 at PGA West in 1999? The top player's aren't showing up at recent events. Schedule overload is probably cited, but it would be great to see them return to an event that's like no other. Perhaps pollyanish on my part, I don't see a legitimate reason why a top 10 pro can't carve a week out of his dayplanner to keep the fires burning for the Bob Hope. It would go a long way toward humanizing some of the perceived robotrons on the tour. They don't need the money or exposure now like the old days. Fact of life, but sad. Pro golf is a machine that constantly needs feeding and it's diet is picked by accountants, marketing wizards, and agents. Enough melancholy.

In the same vein I watched Celebrity Golf with Sam Snead on the Golf Channel. This show's a hoot. Originally aired in 1960 it features Sam playing a celebrity for charity. 9 holes, match play with the celebrity handicapped. The episode I watched had Sam playing Dean Martin. Sam told Dean he'd be getting 4 shots for the match. Dean said he didn't drink during a match. Gee, did you see that coming? Still a riot considering the context.

I leave you with a Bob Hope quote. After a particularly exasperating round Bob turned to his caddy and said, "You must be the world's worst caddy." The caddy replied, "Oh no, that would be too much of a coincidence."

Til' next,

One last kudos to George Lopez for continuing a proud tradition.

5 comments:

  1. Nice story. The old days were better. I'm sure of that.

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  2. Better? Matter of opinion. Simpler for sure!

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  3. Oops, rude of me. Thanks for checking out the site.

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  4. I agree with Patricia, old days were better,period.

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