- The Washington Times - Friday, June 1, 2001

Let's put the Casey Martin case in perspective.
The central issue was whether walking is an integral part of the so-called sport of golf.
Walking!
What's funny is that the divotheads who are furious over the Supreme Court ruling that allows Martin to use a cart during competition were proud to contend that, yes, walking is an important part of golf.
"I think we ought to take them all out and play golf," Jack Nicklaus said of the justices. "I think they'd change their minds. I promise you, it's fundamental."
Wow. Let them walk a little bit. That'll show them. That's something they've never done before. Better send them to walking school first, then perhaps a stint or two on the minor walking circuits before they could actually compete on the PWA tour Professional Walking Association.
"Walking is a part of golf," Stuart Appleby said. "It flat-out is a part of the game. I guess the court says otherwise. But walking is hard, and it's a difficult part of golf. I can play golf with tennis players and athletes in different sports that are the fittest and best in their sports, but they struggle to play 18 holes walking. It is a part of golf. It's rubbish that they would say walking isn't important."
What sport do you have if you take the golf clubs out of the hands of golfers?
Volksmarching.
If it were me, I'd be embarrassed to vehemently defend walking as a fundamental part of this so-called sport. Then again, I don't have the disease that has run rampant through the male population.
Golf has become the new language among men, particularly those baby boomers around my age the same guys who, when they were growing up, wouldn't be caught dead at a country club and used to make fun of guys who played golf.
I once dated a girl years ago whose father asked me if I played golf. I thought this was a ridiculous question, like asking me if I drove a Cadillac or listened to Dean Martin records.
I told him I did, and he asked me how my game was. I said, fine, but I always have trouble when I get to the windmill.
Conversation over.
This just confirms a theory I've developed of late: Everything I believed when I was 18 years old was right.
Golf has become the male version of quilting. Players talk about their shots like women would talk about their stitching. Golfers have replaced baseball seamheads as the most annoying people in sports, analyzing every nuance in every shot by their heroes. My God, we have people writing about courage on the golf course now, and the one person who actually has displayed true personal courage the one that is watching his time run out as his right leg withers away because of a circulatory disorder called Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome is the one they want to keep off the PGA Tour.
I went into a golf chat room and found a place where golfers ask each other for help.
"Hello. I hit my woods pretty straight but then when I hit my irons I have a bad hook. Anybody know why?"
Yes. You're not walking enough. You need to walk much, much more.
Or this one:
"I hit my 5-9 irons fine, 3-4 pretty well. But when I pick up a driver or even 3 wood, every ball's a high slice. Just happened to catch an infomercial for the 'Controller.' I'm sure it can't be very good, but one part of the pitch caught my attention. It said something like, 'club face bigger than an iron but shaft is shorter than a wood for more control.' Anyway, has anyone used a short wood or something midway between a 3 iron and a 3 wood/driver? I don't know if it's physical or mental?"
Believe me, pal. It's mental.
And this one:
"I have gone exclusively to a 1 iron off the tee because I top nearly every shot with a driver. I get very good results with the 1 iron but my game doesn't seem complete without being able to hit the driver. I can hit it fairly well at the range but as soon as I get on the tee it turns to you-know-what. Help."
OK, here's some help. Take some lipstick an appropriate writing tool for this endeavor and write at the bottom of your bathroom mirror, "I am a geek." Keep it there for seven days. If, after seven days, you take your clubs to the Salvation Army, consider yourself helped.
Of course, I'm not a golfer. I don't understand the passion for the game. Don't bother, please. I've golfed a few times and walked the course, even carried my own clubs.
Which begs this question: Why is walking an essential part of the game but carrying your own clubs isn't?
Maybe it's because people are used to carrying clubs, and a golf cart would add the impersonal touch of a machine invading such a pristine game.
So here's a solution for Casey Martin and the PGA. Let him get around the course in a rickshaw. That may be a more comfortable mode of transportation for the guardians of this game that was a sport until the Supreme Court exposed it.


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