Column: Learning to love golf, with a little help from the Solheim Cup

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on Aug. 18, 2009

I’m not what anyone would call a golf enthusiast.

I can’t play the game. Unless there are little walls to keep the ball on the green and a giant windmill preventing a straight shot – miniature golf, if you will – it’s going to take me at least 10 tries to get the golf ball in the hole.

And I don’t like to watch the game either. I’ve never sat through an entire golf tournament on TV, even just the final day. Frankly, it’s like watching someone slowly cut grass with scissors.

Then again, I’m the same person who can easily watch a three-hour baseball game, which, if you think about it, consists mostly of pitchers shaking their heads at catchers and batters not swinging at baseballs. Fascinating, indeed.

But, despite these two things, for some strange reason I wish I loved golf.

I wish I could step onto a golf course and hold my own. (My wife even got me golf lessons for my recent birthday to help me toward this goal.)

I wish I could get into a golf tournament on TV and care about who won or loss.

I’d even settle for knowing who the players are. I can consistently identify just five players – Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, and John Daly and Michelle Wie. If it’s someone other than those five, I call the golfer either Colin or Patty.

So, I must say, I’m slightly hoping the Solheim Cup can help me toward this goal.

Local events tend to get me more interested in a sport.

The 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup held in the U.S. was my introduction to soccer, which I’ve turned into quite a fan of, though I still can’t quite force myself to watch Major League Soccer games. It’s possible the Solheim Cup could do the same thing for me and golf.

We’ll see.

But I do plan on watching the Solheim Cup throughout the weekend as well as reading our “Tales from the Tent” Solheim Cup blog, which we will debut on Friday at

By the end of the weekend, I’m confident I will have added to the list of players who I can recognize.

And, who knows, maybe it will help convince me to work on my game more so that I can go to a golf course without being a danger to those around me – especially Colin and Patty.

Editor’s notes:

• Page 3 changes: I want to thank everybody who wrote to me or called me expressing their thoughts on our recent changes. Some of you were happy with the new style; some wished it had stayed the same. Others didn’t care either way – they just wanted more local stories in the newspaper. (I do, too, and we’re working on getting back there after a summer filled with vacations.) But I appreciate everybody who wrote and called in, and the copy desk and I will be working to incorporate some of your ideas into the new page 3 in the coming weeks.

Joe Grace is the editor of The Chronicle. Write to him at or call him at 630-845-5268.

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