I’ve never liked golf. Sure there’s loads of skill involved in hitting 1in ball 400 ft and into a tiny cup, but I daresay it’s even more boring then NASCAR which livens things up with a crash or two.
My uncle took me to the driving range once when I was in high school and that was a disaster, but at least then you had the fun of trying to hit the moving target of the ball collector truck. Maybe the PGA can somehow incorporate the truck-guy for bonus points, and even then I’m not sure I can bring myself to care.
But every so often, the PGA invades the tiny hamlet of Springfield New Jersey with one of their major tournaments. Twelve years ago we had the US Open and now we’ve got the PGA Champoinship. Back then there was loads of traffic, a goodyear blimp, and blatant profiteering. We’ve still got all that stuff, but now I have access to a digital camera.
Warning – large pictures ahead
Much of Springfiled is taken up by the Baltusrol Golf Club. Opened in 1895, the course has a rich history including host to several previous PGA tournaments.
Of course, such history and prestige comes with a cost. Dues were intitially $10-$20. Now there’s an initiation fee of $75,000 on top of the presumably more extravagent annual membership fees.
The point is, this is as close as I’ll ever get:
It’s nice, but it’s not exactly Pebble Beach. From this exclusive behind-the-fence shot, there seems to be a lot of milling about.
Even for golf, there’s not too much going on there. So, let’s take a look at what’s going around on the outside.
The first thing Springfield residents notice is the increase in traffic. It’s been getting worse in the past few years since apparently we’re a convenient shortcut to the rest of New Jersey, but the huge influx of luxury SUV’s really clog up the works. In a small town, every street is valuable and something like this is really annoying.
Fortunately, the townspeople are a resillient folk and are finding their way of coping through these tough times. Taking advantage of their their convinient locations, some residents their lawns into family run kiosks,
corporate hospitality tents,
and of course, parking lots.
Even the religious organizations are coming together in the spirit of capitalism:
The Orthodox shul one-upped everyone with their portable Cingular tower:
It’s just a shame I use Sprint.
Hey, it’s a free-market society and if people and groups can make money off of this more power to them. As it is it seems that just about everyone is profiting (with the possible exceptions of the fans).
Still I’ll be glad when things get back to normal.