in2 My day at the golf course and the political lessons I learned…

I had reason to spend the day at the local golf course on Sunday and by that I mean the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC/Boston. I learned a few political/socio-economic lessons,let me share them with you.

Golf takes $ and is ssssoooooo white

Contrary to some folks racist beliefs the joys of a day on the links is not lost on the brother man. I speak of the average person not Barack Obama or Tiger Woods. Decidedly there is not too much common about them on many a level. No from the municipal links in the metro areas of our nation to the more hallowed greens one can find folks of color. There is no doubt that golf is lopsidedly white in nature and there are a number of reasons for that. There is one common reason though that a foursome any given morn’ may have three crackers and a brother. Its called MONEY. Golf beyond anything else has one color that trumps all others and that is the color of money.

The fans at the event followed through the demographic with the well healed in high representation. Sure from any one of my many vantage points this day I could spot the total blue-collar guy out for the day and it was pretty easy to make assumptions on those dressed the part but more likely to be driving GM or Toyota as opposed to BMW or Audi. Of course I did see a rather rare Ferrari pull through twice and I saw my first real life McLaren. I interacted with a couple of guys of color who most assuredly could buy my house two times over and still take a decent vacation of their choosing.Equally I met two white guys who after spending who knows what total on $7 beers were so in the red it wasn’t funny.

Bottom line on this one. I saw a real life application of what some may want to paint as white privilege but I also saw a representation of overall demographics and blurring too. So is golf a case of white exclusivity or a weird mish mash of potential common ground as long as a certain denominator is factored in accordingly.

Entitlements corrupt EVERYONE

One of the aspects of the club hosting an event such as DBC is that members can be “volunteers” and do assorted jobs at the event. Now these folks pay about $10k to be members so they are in a position of privilege as it is. Some may say that the socio-economic status of their lives helps to dictate their demeanor. I don’t agree. I’ve met plenty of folks with 6+ figure assets that are not douche bags. Sunday I met a ton of douche bags. The folks got these neat official shirts and a fist full of vouchers. Food and beverage and more likely than not some discount off of merchandise. Add to this their unimpeded access to all the free swag sponsors were tossing about and you are not going home hungry or empty-handed. Well these motherfuckers were very vocal about what they should get and how they were to be treated it was amazing.I stood back and took it in for a bit. I came to the conclusion that they truly felt entitled due to their membership and the little red coupons they had. These are folks that to a person would likely rail against any number of tax proposal and spending plans and yet when it came to someone kissing their ass ‘cuz they had a coupon?!?!? forget about it. pucker up baby is their attitude.

A sense of entitlement alters the human mind.

The great equalizer

Surrounded by large sums of money,consumption and frivolity one could easily feel certain aires were flowing. I had some laughs. I got pissed off a few times. I had my general attitude of my fellow man reaffirmed. Just in case you ain’t getting the vibe,I don’t think to highly of my fellow man. Anyway all the pretentious pricks and prissy bitches pretending they were at the Derby and all the riff-raff no matter their wallet size and style had to come together and experience one of societies great equalizers. THE PORTA-POTTY.

Yup I had to use one myself and in standing in line looking at the great cross-section of American classism I was thoroughly overjoyed watching the humility flow. The little plastic huts are not only a convenience but a true public service.

Please note I was there secondary to the functions of a charity organization. Ironically although there are those that would die for a ticket I loathe golf and all its trappings.Also ironic that I could have very well been there via my employer but thankfully dodged that bullet only to find myself there anyway. It was for a good cause though,plus as I’ve shared,educational.



  1. Rutherford says:

    Well, I confess I am one of the few folks who actually enjoys watching golf on TV. In my 20’s I took lessons even though I knew that I’d never be able to golf worth a damn.

    Your piece is great, partly because you paint the picture so vividly and because of the lessons you learned. I think the true measure of racial progress in this country is the color green trumping the colors black and white. Now more than ever, blacks can pay for access if they can just manage to break into the right tax bracket and that’s happening with greater frequency every day.

    As far as entitlement, I can’t help but point you to something Ann Romney said at the convention. She talked about she and Mitt eating dinner on the ironing board in a modest apartment. She neglected to point out they did this by choice, not by necessity. I applaud Mitt for not wanting to exploit his father’s name but I believe his father’s stocks subsidized some of Mitt’s living expenses in those “meager” days. Even the “risk” of starting Bain Capital was mitigated by an assurance from his boss at Bain and Company that there would always be a fall back job for him. This is a case of folks so enmeshed in privilege that they don’t recognize their advantages when they have them and they attempt to draw false equivalencies with the “common man”.

    But finally, there is indeed your great equalizer. Whether pauper or prince, we all have to take a dump now and then. 🙂

  2. El Tigre says:

    Good post Alfie.

    Ignoring the underlying message, it brought back the memory of my dad driving me to the Wellesley Country Club to carry bags on the weekends. It was around the time Caddy Shack came out and damn if that didn’t strike a cord. I grew to resent the excesses that members seemed to enjoy, and what was such gross displays class elitism I never thought I would see the day when I was the one wheeling around a course being catered to.

    I have since been invited to these types of events. I have seen first-hand exactly what you’re talking about. Curiously though, in Atlanta, when the real estate boom was in full swing, I saw many, many black golfers taking on the same airs. I can no longer hold a club because of an injury. But I’d be willing to bet that things have reverted back to what I remembered. The difference? I no longer care about the elitism that I resented so much in prior days. I have matured enough to recognize that if you can pay for special treatment you can rightly expect it. Even if you’re an asshole.

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