As close readers of this blog already know, I possess a highly developed aversion to sanctimony. As a result, Masters Week really is something of a trial for me — until Saturday afternoon, when the inherent competitive attractions of the tournament ultimately win out and take precedence over the weeks of bullshit fawning and musing that routinely precede and general suffuse media coverage of golf’s first major championship of the year.
In this spirit of Fighting The Pieties That Be, I offer this week a series of posts that discuss or otherwise celebrate golf in non-traditional and subversive ways. By mentioning the Masters only obliquely, and with derision, I do my part in diminishing the hype — and perhaps opening our eyes just a bit to the fact that there really is a lot more to like about golf than yet another story on how cheap the sandwiches are at Augusta National, how struck with wonder the amateurs have been in the Crow’s Nest all week, what a fabulous tradition the meaningless par-3 tournament is, and yet another gauzy feature on Arnold Palmer, against whom I have nothing, but let’s get real: The man last won a major in 1964, the year I was born… (Quick caveat: If said story centers on how and why Arnie never won a major once he quit smoking, after the ’64 Masters, I’ll read that with enthusiasm, as I’m fascinated by this little-shared but quite fascinating factoid.)
So, without further ado, see here Fight the Piety Golf Tidbit No. 1:
Check out what I saw recently on display in the striking new clubhouse at Danang Golf Club, on the Central Coast of Vietnam. The image here provided says more than I ever could. Are those not the coolest mannequins you’ve ever seen? I’m not a golf apparel guy; it doesn’t much interest me. For the record, the shirt here was produced by a company called AB Pro Golf, whose own innovations include a line of reversible shirts and high-performance fabrics that include anti-bacterial agents.
But enough about that. I first saw them in March, but I still can’t take my eyes off these mannequins. There’s a cyborg quality to them that I find eerie but irresistible. Howie Roberts, the general manager at Danang GC, reports that such mannequins are quite the rage in Bali, but I’ve not seen anything like them in golf shops anywhere in Asia-Pacific, North America or Europe. They’re sequined, of course, with different combinations of colors: red and black, teal and pale green (pictured), orange and yellow… They simultaneously bring out the best in a shirt’s color while grabbing the eye and never letting go. Check out the shop the next time you’re visiting Danang GC, and bring your sticks; this Norman design may well be the best new course (opened May 2010) you’ll find anywhere.