Augusta, Georgia: Easter Sunday 2012. Charl Schwartzel flashed about 100 South African lion teeth and fitted the green jacket over Bubba Watson’s painter’s outfit. The lad from the panhandle dressed up fierce well. He didn’t have a try at the buttons.
They gave him a microphone. “This thing work?” There was a-cringin’ in the green ranks of the Old Farts. “To my fans out there I say, GO DAWGS!” — bit of hootin’ and hollerin’ from the cervix rouge delegation. Jeez, what next? Correct.
“Second, I’d like to thank my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” he said, nipping in the bud the tenth Bubbablubber in an hour. I could hear olden-times western actor John Wayne drawl that he sure as hell hates to see a grown man cry. “This day means so much more than putting on this green jacket.”
Bernhard Langer started it in 1993 in his green-jacket speech: “I am so pleezed to win ziss on ze day ze Zaviour is rizen.” Zach Johnson got the jacket in 2007, saying: “I give my Lord and Jesus all the credit.” He has verses from the Good Book on his ball-markers (mine have The Galtee Mountain Boy). Webb Simpson put in a word for Jesus last August when he won the Wyndham; he could feel his Saviour “real close” during his final round. The golfing gods are obviously alive and well.
Bubba tweeted his followers on Easter morn before the final round, quoting St Paul: “1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 — Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
The most powerful impact Bubba had made was the PGA Tour’s weekly Bible-study session, held every Wednesday night at tournament venues. Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd, Webb Simpson, Ben Crane and Bubba are some of the regulars, with attendances ranging from 16 to 50. The latter figure would represent about 30 per cent of the field at a PGA tournament.
The one-hour study is something Watson looks forward to: “Getting more in the Word and realising that golf is just an avenue for Jesus to use me to reach as many people as I can.” No word on Tiger; he’s not a Baptist at all — more like one of them commie Buddhists. Get on the Jesus golf avenue, Tiger! Go, dawg! And zip up, man.
A chosen band
The old glories who run the place at the end of Magnolia Drive (soon to be renamed ‘JC Avenue’) give a good ole (>200 years minimum) rendering of kindly, vomity southern gentility.
These are a chosen band of extremely wealthy white gentlemen who apparently hate women, but don’t wear white hoods over their heads. In recent years, they have even surpassed the best nausea-inducing, marble-gargling, sphincter-sutured blazers of the Royal and Ancient.
My, my, my, don’t they jez all love to dress up in the uniform of the chosen. There is a pomp and bombast about Augusta, high church of born-again golf, which wouldn’t be out of place in the Sun King’s court or the Vatican City.
Behind the splendour is money. Golf is one of the biggest industries in the world. You can win four million dollars in prize money in a year without making it to the top 10 in any tournament. It’s only April and 22 players have made a million dollars already; 62 players half that and they are on the C contract with unlimited private practice on-site and off.
Coaches too are billionaires. Sean Foley has a queue of Major-winners waiting to get a lesson, Paddy Harrington included. Butch Harmon wears silk suits of incredible hue, unmatched with silly silk ties of incredible hue; he can dress of a Friday for 20 grand if he doesn’t wear his gunners.
Bubba, like legendary coloratura Amelita Galli-Curci 100 years before him, never had a lesson. Golf cannot afford his like. Next, he’ll be making his own clubs; a bad idea once you’ve seen his pink driver. He has happily perfected a move which I invented myself.
The ‘WHOOSH’, eschewed by the best (unborn again) coaches, involves jumping OUTA the shoes and OFFA the ground at the moment of the swing’s climax — driving ball, full-back and goalkeeper into the back of the net. Bubba has been practicing ‘whoosh’ so is a little ahead of me; his ball goes 370 yards, mine goes 65.
Immediately after the Masters, our four-ball at Tramore made a decision to hold a Bible-study meeting in the men’s bar for all born-again high handicappers before the Friday competition each week. It’s going down only mighty. The Committee is considering making attendance compulsory. They’re fierce jealous, I hear, above in Mount Juliet.
Not everyone was pleased with Bubba’s holy-rolling. The begrudgers came out of the blogging woodwork. “Watson is a douche!” penned one Pulitzer-wannabe kindly.
YouTube’s best freaks moved the debate quickly to evolution and homosexuality, in their view two sides of the one coin. There had been a voice interjection by persons/spirits unknown during the jack-on ceremony. Consensus amongst the bloggers: atheists. They haven’t gone away, you know.
Best blog: “Great inspiration and role model. God is raising a new generation of young people who are on fire for Him in this END OF TIMES.”
And through it all, I jez set myself to wondrin’ — did Paul ever hear anything back from them Thessalonians?