Saturday at the PGA Championship

Patrick Newell

Thank you to Stacy Gage, who had an extra ticket to the PGA Championship for Saturday’s round at Oak Hill Country Club. Kids were admitted free, so Stacy and his son Alex invited me and my stepson Joseph to come along for the ride.
It was the first major golf championship I attended, and the “rare” sporting event in which I was not working as a reporter. Honestly, I felt a little naked without my notepad and camera, but it was worth the trip. For those who watched the tournament this weekend, if the total sum of your golf viewing experiences has been spent in front of your television, then you’re not coming close to getting the complete picture.
Just imagine yourself striking the ball as well as you can hit it. Okay? Picture its trajectory, its distance, then its accuracy. The ball follows its intended target, and reaches its intended destination. You feel pretty good inside as that experience happens maybe once or twice a round – if you’re lucky!
For the typical PGA golfer – especially those competing in the fourth major championship of the year – that “perfect” shot for us is the norm for them. Our little foursome had the opportunity to watch some professional golfers hit balls from the practice facility before their respective rounds. One ball after another was pounded perfectly, and depending on the club selection, each shot ended a few feet apart at almost the same distance. I was reminded over the weekend: This is their job, and the professional golfer puts in eight-hour days on the golf course as we do at our designated jobs. Considering that – and as much as I love my job – playing golf for a living would not break my heart.
Near the end of the day, we perched ourselves in the amphitheater on the 13th hole (see link below) where thousands of people lined the banks to create an electric atmosphere oohing and ahhing with every putt. A Saturday afternoon at a major championship under perfect weather conditions…it just doesn’t get any better than that.


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