Whatever will the Saudis do with all that money flowing in now that gas goes for $5 per gallon? Hundred million dollar super yachts are so $3 per gallon. The sheiks get air sick so a private space launch is out of the question. You can only give Jared Kushner $2 billion so many times.
How about establishing a professional tour offering tens of millions of dollars to the world’s best golfers?
The LTV Golf Tour had its first event near London this past weekend. Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and many of the top thirty golfers in the world participated. Pesky reporters badgered the golfers with tales of human rights violations by the Saudis — the murder of Jamal Kashoggi, televised mass beheadings, women denied driver’s licenses until 2018, and, oh by the way, nine of the thirteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis and where did the money for their pilot training come from anyway?
Phil Mickelson replied, “I don’t condone human rights violations at all. Nobody does. I’ve also seen the good that the game of golf has done throughout history.” Graeme McDowell picked up on Phil’s cue. “Speaking personally, I really feel that golf is a force for good in the world.”
Mother Teresa has done “good in the world”. Polio vaccine, pasteurization, air conditioning, and, to go way back, fire and the wheel have done “good in the world.” What has golf given us?
Golf carts — Without these, country club kids would be denied their early F-1 lessons, and aging arthritics would not be able to drive straight to their gated townhomes.
Golf clothing — The polyester beltless trouser coupled with ill-fitting polo shirt with writing on the pocket went straight from the links to Casual Friday in Cubicle World.
Country Clubs — These conclaves of exclusivity can’t let just anyone enter their sacred precincts. By anyone, they mean Black or Brown people (except as caddies or groundskeepers) and even (shudder) women. Muirfield in Scotland hosts the British Open every six years. The club Trustees refused to admit women onto the course until forced to in 2017. They claimed, “Ladies will endanger speedy play.” Those females do tend to re-apply make-up and gossip between shots.
America’s most famous golf course, Augusta National, home of the Masters Tournament did not allow a “Negro” player on the course until 1975, initiated its first “Negro” member in 1991, and waited until 2012 to admit its first woman member — Condoleeza Rice. We are still waiting for Augusta National to admit its first Democrat.
Phil and Graeme are correct. Golf has done tons of good in the world. We can look past a little price gouging, beheadings, misogyny, and terrorism by the Saudis. If they want to give Phil and Graeme tens of millions for playing golf, good for them.
By Ed Dufton