Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Today, Groundhog Day, is of course a beloved midwinter festival, but my favorite harbinger of spring is the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, the pro-am golf tournament played in Palm Springs this time of year. Last weekend's champion was Justin Leonard, but I don't watch for the PGA golfing. No, I love the celebrities, who this year included Joe Pesci, Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson.

What's thrilling about watching movie stars golf is that they play like real human beings. On one hole I saw Jackson drive for what looked like 15 feet, and my favorite moment came when comedian Tom Dreesen shanked a ball into the canal at the PGA West course. You seldom see pro golfers make these kinds of mistakes, and it's rare in any televised sports event to see what the game looks like played by amateurs.

Plus I love watching golf on TV, especially in winter. The courses look so warm and lush. At the Bob Hope I saw Jesper Parnevik's shadow, which means six more weeks of plaid pants.

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