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Ron Green Sr.: Armchair golf fans miss out on the mystique

Ron Green Sr.
Ron Green Sr. is a retired Observer columnist.
QUAIL_THURSDAY_46
Todd Sumlin - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
Sure, unlike these fans at the fifth green on Thursday, you could watch the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow on television from the comfort of your home. But if you do, you’ll miss many of the things that make it special.

There’s a lot to be said for golf on television, not the least of which is the comfort of the armchair, the proximity of the refrigerator, instant replay and shelter in case of a storm.

On TV, you have accented voices explaining it all to you. If there is a shot significant enough to elicit a roar from the gallery elsewhere on the course, TV seeks it out and shows it moments later. Remarkable gadgets draw a line on the flight path of a shot. A blimp hovers overhead being helpful and sending down beautiful pictures.

Television does golf better than it does any other sport.

So why will all those thousands of people be at Quail Hollow Club this week for the Wells Fargo Championship?

Because golf is there, replete with just about everything good about it.

There’s grass out there. Perfect, designer grass.

A fresh breeze is moving the treetops.

You’re outdoors. No politicians phoning you.

The place can be as quiet as a cemetery one minute and then suddenly erupt when somebody does something thrilling.

Girls in their summer clothes and guys in their best-looking logo shirts are strolling around, beers in hand.

Concession stands are humming with business. One of them is selling gluten-free beer. (Is that new or is it one more example of how far the world has left ol’ Ron behind?)

They’re there to see the long, left-handed sweep of Phil Mickelson’s swing and the smile that goes along with it. And the wizardry of his short game that rescues him when his shot goes astray.

To see some players whose swing is so sweet they should write music notes on their scorecards instead of numbers and to see the guys who aren’t playing hymns out there but get it done anyway.

They are there to see Davis Love III and Vijay Singh, who are eligible for the senior circuit, keep doing what they’ve done for decades, unwilling to yield to the years.

They got to see Ricky Fowler and Rory McIlroy, rock stars, maybe get an autograph, maybe a smile.

And to walk. There’s no prettier place in Charlotte to walk. Not even from the couch to the refrigerator.

Ron Green Sr. is a retired Observer sports columnist.
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