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DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL ... : Fore Warned: It's weekend tee time again

August 08, 1993|ELIZABETH HANSEN | Elizabeth Hansen, a Los Angeles playwright and writer, contributes regularly to TV Times

Finally, my favorite summer television is in full swing. Swing being the operative word. Never mind the reruns (did you ever think you could see Murphy Brown have her baby that many times?), never mind the pilots for new shows (that are worse than last year's) and never mind

My summer television can be described in four letters. Four glorious letters that I think embody what America stands for. Recreation, sportsmanship and wealth.

Now these four letters, when put together, form what we identify as a word but in reality isn't a word at all. It's an anachronistic acronym. (Try saying that three times fast.)

We all know that an "acronym" is a group of letters that represent the first letter of each word in a phrase. Like, POSH (Port Out, Starboard Home) or RADAR (Radio Detecting and Ranging). And "anachronistic" means that the phrase or word is very old. Well, not, like, dinosaur old, but the Hallmark birthday greeting of Willard Scott kind of old. Shall I give you a hint?

It's a summer sport--unless you happen to be playing in Australia in January, which would still make it a summer sport. It involves a ball and a really expensive metal stick, and women find it difficult in private arenas to get a good time to play it on Saturday mornings. Have you guessed? Let me make it easy for you. The acronym stands for, brace yourselves fellow females: Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.

Yep, GOLF. The most beautiful sporting word in the English language. I know there are thousands of people out there who think watching golf on TV is about as exciting as burning the roof of your mouth. But that's because you, more than likely, don't play the game. When you do, you discover the complexities of a truly great sport. To me golf is like life. You hit a great tee-shot and end up in a sand trap. You hack away at it like some blithering idiot until finally, after great toil, you reach the green and one-putt. Heaven.

TV golf is tremendous fun to watch. Not only do you learn many useful tips from the pros, you get to make fun of the golfers' outfits. But when one of those pros in the plaid pants hits a long drive, how do the camera operators keep focused on those little white balls? I can't ever see mine. I can't ever find mine. But I digress.

When push comes to shove, I watch golf on TV to see the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." To see expert athlete vs. expert athlete. Unlike, say, football, which I watch to see the players' tushes. Heaven knows, I don't tune into golf for the tight ends.

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