In a song by The Who, Pete Townshend wrote, “I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles.”
That’s an enviable talent, especially if Townshend’s able to pull it off at ground level and not just in a jet airliner at 30,000 feet.
I can’t see for miles and miles, but for a brief, shining moment I had the ability to see the future of the golf world all the way deep into 2016. Here’s what I saw, or at least think I saw:
In June, the Olympics will arrive in Brazil and the golf world will be faint from the anticipation of the return of its sport to this worldwide amateur athletic competition. OK, sort of amateur athletic competition, considering it involves a whole lot of professional athletes, including golfers.
Maybe you’ve heard of the Olympic course, designed by Gilbert Hanse and his partner James Wagner? In case you were locked in the chemical room for the last year, let me fill you in. Hanse is up near the top of the golf design sand heap, not quite Coore and Crenshaw, or David McLay Kidd, or Tom Doak, but prominent nevertheless.
Oh lordy, the accolades that will be heaped on Hanse once those 18 holes make their way to TV screens in America. We’ll hear all about the “naturalness” of the layout, how it’s low-input, how the sand mounds are beautiful to look at and don’t need watering. It’ll be anointed the best course in South America and best new course in the world by international golf magazines.
The fawning will be embarrassing. The worst offenders will be the obsequious hosts of the morning show of the one TV golf network in the United States.
Making matters more entertaining will be the fact that Donald Trump will still be running for president. Trump, you see, had Hanse blow up the Blue Monster at Doral Resort and turn it into one of the most reviled layouts on the PGA Tour. We hadn’t heard that much carping from the pros since the range balls at the 2007 Canadian Open hadn’t been cleaned to their liking.
Now, good old Trump has proclaimed Hanse the greatest designer of the last 100,000 years, but will insert himself in on Hanse’s moments of glory by bellowing that it was he who routed the Rio layout.
Speaking of Trump, in 2015 he had a flagpole and plaque installed between the 14th green and 15th tee at Trump National Golf Club on Lowes Island on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The plaque bears the words “Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot. The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’ It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River!”
One problem, it’s all bull feathers.
“No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there,” Richard Gillespie, the executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, told the New York Times.
Undaunted by the truth, in 2016 Trump will install more plaques and flagpoles commemorating important events that he says occurred at a number of his golf facilities.
Trump National Golf Club Ferry Point will be proclaimed as the exact spot where the Pilgrims arrived in the New World. His property in Puerto Rico, it turns out, is where the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria first dropped anchor. At Trump International in Florida, there will be a sign proclaiming the course sits on the site of the fabled Fountain of Youth. Trump’s lackeys will find the water source and will bottle the elixir for sale in the halfway house.
At the Turnberry resort in Scotland, a large monument of William Wallace that looks exactly like Mel Gibson will be placed near the lighthouse in commemoration of the Battle of Stirling, with Trump saying he saw a film of the actual battle, but he can’t remember where.
In player news, Eldrick Woods will win a major – a major lawsuit. No such luck, though, with golf’s majors.
Rory wins the U.S. Open and The Open Championship, solidifying himself as the top player in the world.
Poa annua will realize its days are numbered.
Finally, I won’t drink from the fountain of youth or believe any of Trump’s fabrications.