It has always been the most difficult gift to buy. You can get your mother flowers and chocolate. You can get your wife jewelry. You can get your kids pet goats.
But what in the world do you get the man who has more bad ties, more tattered sweaters, more golf balls, than he will ever need?
What do you get Dad?
As the U.S. Open looms now and, hopefully, you will be making your way to Congressional next week, your problem is solved. At least, mine always was, for the decades I went while my father was alive.
As soon as I got my initial business done, credentials secured, hugs given, old friends back in the loop, I would make my way quickly to the enormous merchandise tent.
There, pure gold. The latest shirts, sweaters, wind shirts, rain jackets, caps, funky head covers, all properly logoed and ready for pickin'.
In one door, make a choice, pay at the other end, out the back door and stop at the ultra-convenient shipping tent. By mid-Monday, my oh-so-thoughtful present was on its way and while it didn't exactly offer itself up on Father's Day morning, it got there in plenty of time for him to show it off to his buddies.
Just a thought.
It is one of the thousand things I think about when I set foot on Open ground for the first time every summer, one of my favorite memories.
Oh, and if you're NOT going to be at the Open?
Hmmm…I have a great book recommendation.
As you all know, I offer myself wide open every week for comments, questions, theories, rants through e-mail, Twitter and Facebook and, as I expected, last week's column on being Number One generated more response than anything thus far.
Jeff Tindle, on Facebook: Your comparison to the BCS is spot on. If the system is one that can't be explained or understood by the average 20-handicapper, then the system is flawed and needs changing. And who would be responsible for that?
Jim Day: No one (is number one), really. Since Tiger has slipped, it has been an even playing field!
Chris Taylor: I think you need to win at least one major before you can become number one in the world.
Nick Cooper: I think Jim hit the nail on the head. Since Tiger has (fallen) off, it's very apparent no one is quite up to the duty of taking over the #1 spot and holding on to it. Number one isn't going to mean very much for a while due to the fact it might change every month.
Michael T. Van: Any PGA or European Tour player can be #1 on any given day. How does it take almost two years of Tiger not winning a tournament to knock him out as #1? I pay little attention to that label. I think the players don't care, either.
Ed Baldwin: Sorry, Luke, but you have to win a major.
Preston Nutt: Luke Donald definitely deserves it because of consistency. He is always at the top and even contends for the lead in most tournaments. Just had some bad breaks to truly cap off being the best player in the world. He has to win a major but I wouldn't doubt him winning one this year.
Kyle Dos Santos: The current rankings are like musical chairs which to me makes it seem like its not even valid anymore. If you look at current records, yes, Martin, Westwood and Donald are right up there.
David Taylor: Luke is without question the best player in the world right now. Jim Huber never has been and never will be (got that right! Once asked Greg Norman what it felt like-after he shot 63 at Augusta-to be in the zone and he just looked at me and said "Jimmy, you will never, ever, know". And he was right)
Justin Blair: Anyone who thinks Woods should be #1 is an idiot. That's like saying Notre Dame should be #1 in college football even though the only thing they have going for them is history. I honestly believe he (Tiger) doesn't deserve to be ranked.
Vincent Shack: Alton Duhon…don't ask me why.
Um…so there you have it. Just a few of the hundreds of comments on a question that will rage on until we have someone who, like Tiger for the last 13 or 14 years, truly and unquestionably, deserves it. We never did raise the question during his reign, did we?
See y'all at the Open next week.
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