I can hear Maurice Chevalier singing it now.
"Thank heaven, for billionaires."
Thank heaven for Herb Kohler, who created a golf heaven on the shores of Lake Michigan. Who else would do a Whistling Straits? A world-class golf course basically from scratch (those dunes aren't natural). Who would build a golf course capable of attracting a major tournament, the PGA, and national television network coverage for four straight days?
Not the Madison Common Council! And it's not their job to do so, which is why we need private capital as in, lots of it!
Of Herb's golf course, Sports Illustrated says "It's unique, made-for-HD, and has produced a lot of drama, so the PGA of America should be happy it hosts the PGA Championship in five years and a Ryder Cup in 2020.
What an advertisement for the state of Wisconsin!
Live and in color
I swear, the man in the logo for Whistling Straits looks just like Herb Kohler.
(BTW: How strange is it that two of Wisconsin's most famous and wealthy citizens should be Herb Kohler and Herb Kohl? Of the latter, if he were a Republican the Capital Times would denigrate him as a "millionaire politician.")
Who, for that matter, would have Frank Lloyd Wright design his office and factory if not for another billionaire, Sam Johnson. Thank God (upper case) for the Frautschis or would Madison have an Overture Arts Center? Or a Kohl Center sports arena on the UW campus?
I spent much of Friday at the PGA tournament. What an experience! It's like the State Fair with almost as many tents, minus the corn dogs and snow cones. Spectators can walk all day, clamber up a grass-covered dunes and watch Phil Mickelsen and Steve Stricker drive for show and putt for dough. Then walk over to the practice green and watch Tiger confer with his almost-as-famous caddy. Or just look out at the great blue lake and catch a breeze. On the dune to the south of the second tee, 10-year-old boys launched themselves and slid belly first down the dune like penguins on an ice floe.
I felt like joining them.
Because the golfers were engaged in actual competition, cameras and cell phones were prohibited.
My day pass cost $103 with tax. Egress was pretty good. Shuttle buses departed regularly to and from the parking, which was free.
Eighteen holes at Whistling Straits costs $340 (no carts). I played the adjacent Irish Course a few years ago, set me back $125. Then dined at the baronial clubhouse.
Having been there in person, I had to watch the TNT and CBS television coverage from start to finish. CBS began its program Saturday with old man Kohler posed before a window ruminating about golf and beauty.
Became a fan of on-course commentator David Feherty. Of one lie, Feherty said, "This lie is harder to read that the health care bill."
Great coverage by Rob Schultz in the State Journal.
Finally, kudos to the way Dustin Johnson took his medicine and gave an interview (to Feherty, of course) after the gut punch. Was the call fair? You can argue that. Golf itself can be capricious. But adherence to rules is paramount. No equivalency here. Ignorance is not a defense. (Memo to self: get a golf rule book and read it! I took a lot of bad habits into the league I play in on Thursdays only to be gently corrected. Yeah, I used to ground my club in a sand trap.)
It is that ethos that motivates the commercial with Phil Mickelson wagging a reproving finger at a weekend muni duffer who tries o improve his lie with a stealthy kick. Sadly, Tiger Woods cannot make that anti-cheating ad today.
Did I say national coverage? I mean international. This is from a United Kingdom source called Eurosport:
A bearded man in a blue blazer walked away from the 18th green alone, pausing only briefly. Herb Kohler, the billionaire owner of this wondrous and wacky golf course, the man who wanted fescue and dunes and yes, hundreds and hundreds of bunkers all over his faux-Irish Cheeseland jewel, pondered the fate of poor Dustin Johnson and the now-famous bunker on the hill off the 18th fairway. "I love 'em," Kohler said of the more than 1,200 bunkers at Whistling Straits.
BTW: If you can't make it up to the Sheboygan area, golf The Oaks. (Personal plug.)
Apparently there is such a thing and it's called GOProud. Its chairman, Christopher Barron, tells RightWing News:
When you look at our legislative agenda and the issues that we're working on, we think the question of "gay rights" has been narrowly defined by the left. We think that if you want to improve the lives of every day gay and lesbian folks all across this country, you can do things like reform our tax code and provide for personal savings accounts in social security, free market health care reform, the type of stuff that's going to improve the lives of every American in this country.
We certainly do understand that there are going to be conservatives who disagree with us on issues like same-sex marriage. We understand that and respect that. But, the fact is that movement conservatives aren't going to agree on everything.
Do not disturb
Newsweek defends Obama's leisure but mocked Bush's working vacations at his Texas ranch, NewsBusters reports. In Newsweek's coverage at the time, writers put the term working vacation into derisive quote marks.
The Dane County Board begins lopping sheriff's deputies Thursday night. Supervisors will vote on a Chairman McDonell resolution to impose a hiring moratorium on sheriff's deputies to get to The Kathleen/McDonell's goal of cutting 20 sworn deputies. Public safety in a growing county? On the chopping block. County manure digester? No problem.
Matt Veldran continues to hold a countywide referendum on the RTA commuter train hostage in his committee.