OK, so you don’t play golf. You don’t even watch golf on TV. But surely you know who Tiger Woods is. You might even have heard of Rory McIlroy. And you probably know the Masters is coming up this week.
To me, this will be one of the most fascinating tournaments ever. I will be glued to the TV. reveling in the perfection of the venue, the consummate skill of the world’s greatest golfers, the excellence of the … well, the excellence of everything, for to me the Masters is the benchmark of excellence when it comes to sports broadcasting.
But this year’s Masters will offer much, much more. It will be a drama that rivals the great plays of William Shakespeare, Pavlovich Chekhov and Tennessee Williams, providing heart-warming – and heartbreaking – insights into the human condition.
It could also answer an age-old question: Can we mortals really beat Father Time?
Yes, more people are living to 100, as the AAARP Magazine noted last week. Yes, 70-year-old body builders have amazing physiques and, from the right angle, in the right light, 60-year-old actresses somehow manage to look – almost – like debutantes.
But in today’s golf, where 300-yard drives are commonplace, the pros become “seniors” at 50. They get to play on the Champions Tour, where the tees are farther forward, the fairways are easier to hit and the pin placements are more forgiving.
Golf pros start getting “old” years before that. They tend to peak in their thirties and fade in their forties. One of my all-time favorites, Phil Mickelson, is a case in point. Even legends like Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer faded after forty. And the great Jack Nicklaus held on for just a few years longer.
Which brings us to 39-year-old Tiger Woods (above, left) and 25-year-old Rory McIlroy (above, right).
Nike (which you may also have heard of) portrayed the poignant passage of time in a new ad that’s attracting a lot of attention. It has been interpreted as “Tiger Woods passing the torch to Rory McIlroy.”
Is it really that time? Already?
Or is there life in the “old” Tiger yet?
I will have to see it to believe it. And you can bet I won’t miss a minute of it.