Keller @ Large: Is Golf The Answer?

BOSTON (CBS) – There’s been plenty of hand-wringing over the past week about the lack of leadership and inability to work together we’ve been seeing in Washington, and every bit of it has been justified.

But as baseball players who argue balls and strikes with the umpires will tell you, complaining only goes so far.

At some point, the focus has to be on solutions, creative, constructive…or otherwise.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

So it was with great interest that I read on the State House News Service  (subscription required) about remarks by Lt. Gov. Tim Murray – feeding the media beast this week while Gov. Patrick is on vacation – outlining what he thinks the feds ought to be doing to get their act together.

For starters, play more golf.

Murray approved of the recent round played by the president and House Speaker John Boehner, but thinks that “maybe they should be playing together once a week…When you get to know somebody, you’re less likely to engage in some of these partisan attacks.”

Interesting point by the LG, but is that really true?

Golf can be a very convivial experience, but this isn’t always the case.

I have seen golfers on the course engaged in cursing, threats, and near-violence.

What if the Speaker steps in Mr. Obama’s lie just before a crucial putt?

What if Boehner flubs his tee shot because the president’s nuclear hotline phone rings during his backswing?

Isn’t there a risk that the details of these golf outings will become fodder for more partisan attacks?

If Mr. Obama gives the speaker a gimme on one green and he returns the favor on the next, does that make both of them socialists?

And those two aren’t the only important figures in the current DC gridlock.

You could round out the foursome with Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, but then what would you do with Nancy Pelosi?

No, while I appreciate Lt. Gov. Murray’s focus on solutions, I’m not so sure a weekly golf game will fix this mess.

But it does answer one question – what does a lieutenant governor actually do?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • tsal

    Jon first and foremost my husband is an avid golfer and has been all of his life. I asked him about your comment about cursing, threats and near violence. He said you are giving golf a bad name:)))

    Seriously, he has no idea what courses you are playing but suggests you find another/other courses. He has heard someone curse at himself because of a bad shot but rarely. He has never heard threats or near-violent behavior since when a golfer is upset it is self directed.

    I do not think there is a game that is conducted with more old school gentlemanly behavior than golf. And I agree that getting to know someone is important and can go a long way in understand opposing views.

  • Stephen Stein

    I’ve played golf a couple times. I’m not good at it. I don’t really understand it. But when players “engage in cursing, threats, and near-violence” I thought it was mostly at their own clubs, or the course, or something, not their foursome partners.

    • tsal

      Absolutely. Do I think golf is the answer? Of course it isn’t. I think the overall point is what Murray intended people to see and not to take it to the narrow focus that many will. As far as golf, I don’t know another sport where a player will call a penalty on himself/herself. It’s also the only sport I know where a player will accept a rule no matter how ridiculous it is and golf has its share. There is a mindset to golfers that I don’t see elsewhere.

      When I’m too close to a situation, I’ve found it helps to step away. I continue to think Murray makes sense as long as someone can see the broad reasoning.

  • Willow

    Yes, but we’re not talking about “normal” people here. These are the same fools we saw for weeks who can’t make a decision to save their lives, and those of the American people, never mind make a putt. Maybe we should all play golf so we can forget the troubles at hand. And, whether we can afford it or not, take a much needed vacation from all the stressful non-compromising decisions. How many company CEOs do you know who will take a vacation when their company is about to sink?

  • jaygee

    First of all, if you want to take long walks, take long walks. If you want to hit things with a stick, hit things with a stick. But there’s no excuse for combining the two and then putting the results on television. Golf is not so much a sport as it is an insult and mistreatment of a beautiful lawn. Not only that but there are far too many so-called “golfers” who can’t even keep the ball on the course.
    I’ve even seen a few of them who have to yell “FORE” when they putt.

  • mikey

    Golf and politics have one thing in common – hacks.

    • blackbear1

      You are quite right. The question of what to do with Nancy Pelosi!! She should caddy! It might teach her some humility, unless of course she becomes like this caddy that Tiger Woods just let go. You should follow those two around in a tournament, just don’t bring young kids.

      • tsal

        Woods and Steve? My son caddies all of the time for the pro-am in Norton. My husband and son have been viewing tournaments all around the country from the time my son was very young. The pros are exactly what you see. There has never a problem with language and never a place I wouldn’t let any child learn a lot of good lessons about honesty and respect.

        A lot of comments here from people who know nothing about golf or perhaps are hacks who think they know.

  • Ron


  • FireGuyFrank

    More business deals get done on a golf course than in any board room. That’s why I play golf.

    It can’t hurt, can it?

    • tsal

      That’s the whole point that seems to have been missed although that doesn’t surprise me – it can’t hurt.

  • emom

    These NUMB SKULLS,,, GEE,,, they need to relax,,, Like I need to be taxed even more. What in the hell are they so stressed over… OH WAIT it takes so much to balance a budget that they are not willing to fix in the first place…, Darn it where is my 9 iron,,,, or should I us a putter…. CADDY ,,, GET ME A DRINK AND THE GOLF CART ,, I want to tear up these hills and get them fixed…. I have a sand trap to build…. And a big one at that.

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