Plugged In The Hazard Humorous Pro-Spectives On Golf
The 90+ Super Senior Tour
When the Senior Tour first came to be there was some skepticism as to how it would go over. Would fans support a tour of old-timers"? Would sponsors be willing to gamble on the gummers? Would the boys with the round bellies be attractive enough for TV viewers? The answers of course, were a resounding yes, yes, and yes! In fact, the tour also started what it called the Super Seniors division, for golfers over 60, also with great success. Then in 2005 many felt the Senior Tour went a little too far when they introduced the 90+ Super Senior Tour.
It wasnt that the fans didnt appreciate the prehistoric and nearly fossilized versions of past champions. In fact, many followed the tour with the same intensity that they displayed towards the regular tour. As it turned out it was a whole bunch of little things that slowed down the tours progress and popularity. The tour was finally dissolved when at the Tour Championship in 2008 three competitors simply decided to give up the ghost and keeled over in the middle of their rounds - sadly, one of them was the tournament leader.
While many of the little things involved ill-timed deaths of competitors and skyrocketing medical costs, as earlier mentioned, it was really a collaboration of many different problems, which ultimately doomed the tour. Problems such as......
- 1) Competitors on hospital leave would often forget to put on proper golf attire. They could be seen from a distance with their blue hospital gowns flapping in the breeze and their bare bums exposed. This turned out to be a problem with the major networks covering the tour as they had hoped their footage would be family orientated.
- 2) Competitors would forget other things as well. On one occasion, in the 2007 "Gummer Masters tournament in Florida, fifteen different threesomes teed off on the wrong hole. Soon the entire field was out of position and the event had to be cancelled as all competitors were disqualified for playing the holes out of sequence. Other times players would play one, two, three, (or any other number not equaling 18) holes and pack it in thinking they had finished their round.
- 3) Major sponsors, such as Bobs Adult Diapers, Dicks Funeral Homes, Martys Cremation House, and Jed's Embalming Services, could not come to an agreement with tour officials on an exemption policy. Marty wanted to honor the deceased players and hold their spot while the other sponsors wanted to allow new competitors (who were actually quite brittle) to be allowed to play.
- ) Some of the competitors who decided to walk the course while pushing their I.V. bags slowed the pace of play considerably. Like all players walking on the tour, it wasnt really walking at all. It was more like slowly shuffling along at a snails pace. The feet never really came off the ground.
- 5) The competitors that rode were a problem as well. They consistently drove too slow and didnt see spectators and other obstacles in front of them. Accidents were aplenty and the flipping up of the index finger was a regular occurrence. Due to the shrinkage of the elderly players, it was often difficult to tell if anyone was actually driving the cart - from the rear view anyway.
- 6) While it is perfectly possible to play golf blind and deaf - on most occasions it does have an impeding effect on ones skill level. Way too many players on the 90+ Super Senior Tour were seen inadvertently hitting golf balls backwards or directly into the galleries, injuring fans.
- 7) In 2006 the tour imposed a gimmie policy. It stated that all players could pick-up" when inside the leather. Soon however, many players were seen picking up as soon as they were within fifteen feet or so of the hole. The rule was never governed properly and the tour lost some respect.
It was still a sad day when the organizers of the 90+ Super Senior Tour called it quits. Or was it when most of the competitors of the Tour called it quits? Either way, in its brief existence, this was a sporting event that was beloved by many. We will miss the tour and all the competitors who played, even the ones that forgot to tie up the back of their hospital gowns.
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