OAKLAND HILLS locker room chatter? The pinched fairways altered the approach-shot values and created or eliminated angles in ways designer Donald Ross never intended. That, coupled with dry greens and inaccessible pin placements, made some folks look silly last Thursday and Friday. If the course were designed today, the greens would never be sloped the way they are now. There was also a running joke that the pins for Friday's play were set by embattled Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (above), who was jailed that day after violating the terms of his bond (he has a series of pending felony charges) and hoped the carnage would draw attention from his troubles.
I WAS trying to come up with a plan to eliminate the "get-in-the-hole" screamers who plague golf tournaments. After talking to a couple of Detroit cops, I decided that garroting might have unfortunate legal consequences, although no one thought a jury would convict. We settled on issuing Taser guns to select fans. Their job would be to sidle up to one of these shouters just after he let loose and deliver 50,000 volts to the body part of their choice. Then they would place an orange sticker on the offender's chest, outlining his infraction in order to discourage other buffoons from taking his place. For their service these brave soldiers would be given upgraded parking.
EVER WONDER what happens to the courtesy cars after golf tournaments? Most of them are sold to local dealers as used vehicles. That's if the tournament people can find them. When I ran the Buick events, we'd often retrieve cars in short-term parking days and weeks after the tournament. More than once we received a call from airport police telling us they found one of our cars at the terminal entrance, doors and trunk open, engine running. Less frequently we'd get a call from an airport parking authority months after the event, informing us we owed them $3,000 or $4,000 in fees. GM had a guy who would negotiate the fee down and go get the car. In recent years the company has imposed more stringent regulations on players, making these kinds of incidents rare.
Jim McGovern ran Buick's golf program from 1998 to 2005 and now consults for title sponsors of PGA Tour events.
ANDREW HANCOCK (MCGOVERN)
BILL PUGLIANO/GETTY IMAGES (KILPATRICK)
GETTY IMAGES (CAR)