What: "The Story of Golf"
Where: PBS (Channel 50, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Channel 28, Sunday, 6:30 p.m.)
If you made television documentaries and wanted to do an all-encompassing golf show on the sport's history, equipment, courses and stars, you might be able to fit it into a 12-hour series. The producers of this show cram it all into two hours, and the topic is too broad for that.
Still, what those involved have accomplished is admirable. The show, narrated by Jim McKay, is about as comprehensive as a two-hour show can be.
Our recommendation: Tape this show and watch it in spurts. There is too much for one sitting.
Captivating, however, are profiles of early stars such as Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen and the triumvirate of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead, all born in 1912.
Jones, the supreme amateur, won 62% of the tournaments he entered. Between 1923 and 1930, he won four U.S. Opens, three British Opens, five U.S. Amateurs and one British Amateur.
The other star of the Jones era was Sarazen, whose real name was Eugenio Saraceni. He changed it after seeing it in the newspaper for making a hole in one when he was 15.
Women are profiled too--Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Patty Berg, Mickey Wright, Nancy Lopez . . .
But the show is more than profiles. In the beginning, McKay says, "Where it began no one knows, what is has become no one imagined." At the end, he says, "It is truly the game of a lifetime."