Jewish World Review June 2, 2003 / 2 Sivan, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Teed off | A lot of middle-aged white guys are teed off because Annika Sorenstam got to play golf in a recent PGA event. At first, I couldn't figure out the angst. Surely, Annika is nicer to look at than most of these golf guys who often dress in green pants and yellow shirts. Are there no mirrors in the clubhouses?

I mean, here's a trim young woman walking around smiling and hitting the ball. So what's wrong with that? Well, there's plenty wrong with it, as I found out.

Based upon dozens of conversations with male golfers who take their hobby very seriously, I can now report that Annika's foray into the world of men's golf was looked upon as an intrusion into the very essence of maledom. The guys sense a threat to their fairway hegemony, and they don't like it one bit. Let's take it step by step.

Golf is boring; there's no question about it. You just whack a little ball and drive the cart and whack the ball and drive the cart ... I'm sure you get the picture. But while driving and whacking, guys talk. And what they say is not meant for women to hear. The entire golf dynamic in the USA is built around guys yakking amongst themselves, much like the ladies' lunch deal. And trust me, most American women do not want guys at their lunch table, even if they do happen to be Swedish.

So it really wasn't about Annika's golf game; it was about Annika being on the course at all. Once the dam breaks, many guys feel that women will swarm the tees, and all macho camaraderie will cease. The golf course is a refuge for the beleaguered American man who has to behave at home, at work and most other places. Out on the fairway he can curse and tell dirty jokes. He can scratch and snort and scream, and then drink what he wants in the clubhouse bar. He gets out of the house for five hours, and nobody's giving him directions in the golf cart.

So Annika Sorenstam ran into a male cultural buzzsaw that I believe she's clueless about. In Sweden, it's too cold to play golf most of the year. But here in the USA, the golf course is a primary male sanctuary. Even though some women have succeeded in taking up the sport, the guys generally don't like it. You think Bill Clinton wants Hillary on the green with him? You think George W. wants Laura in cart? WELL, THEY DON'T!

To be fair, I must tell you that I do not play golf. I did as a kid, and I was rotten at it. I have no patience for the game, and it's harder than it looks. Plus, I was a bachelor for many years, and there were few ladies on the links, so why waste my time? Standing around telling putter jokes and hearing about Big Len's monster drive held absolutely no appeal for me.

So I cannot feel the pain of male golfers, but I am beginning to understand it. American men today are under enormous pressure on all sides. Playing golf with the guys is a release, a therapeutic session where boys can be boys and get away from the demands of domestic bliss and the chaotic workplace. In that respect golf is good. If the guy can come home refreshed and happy, everybody around him benefits. Hey, it's better than a strip club!

Annika Sorenstam didn't make the cut in the tournament, and millions of guys cheered, albeit some silently. Annika stumbled upon something primal, emotional and crucial for many men. The boys need time away from the girls, and the golf course is a convenient escape. It's nothing personal, Annika, and please don't take it to heart. But the simple truth is, some guys simply don't want you around.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


05/27/03: The lynching of Bill Bennett
05/19/03: Get back home, Madonna
05/12/03: Prom night -- all white
05/05/03: Let's misbehave
04/28/03: No pain, no gain?
04/21/03: We stand of guard for thee
04/14/03: The spoils of war
04/07/03: When the truth is a casualty
03/31/03: Yes, you're entitled to your uninformed opinion
03/24/03: That's the way it isn't, Walter
03/17/03: This loyal Catholic believes that, humanistically, the Pope is one of the many Saddam enablers
03/10/03: The new Nazis
03/03/03: Hey, it's personal
02/24/03: A peace of the action
02/18/03: Cash for what?
02/10/03: Runaway train
02/03/03: Dissenting dishonest dissent
01/27/03: The Clooney Factor
01/21/03: Poverty-inducing entertainment
01/13/03: To protect and serve
12/30/02: Global double Crossing
12/30/02: The villains of 2002
12/23/02: Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness
12/16/02: The Houston lesson
12/09/02: Somewhere Santa is weeping
12/02/02: A taxing situation
11/26/02: Talk is expensive when it comes to Bill Moyers
11/18/02: Sanity has left the building
11/11/02: The right stuff
11/04/02: The Attorney General blues
10/28/02: This ain't no game
10/21/02: It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal
10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate