Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Justin Timberlake reviving a golf trend?

The announcement Monday that Justin Timberlake is the new host of the PGA Tour’s annual stop in Las Vegas raised one important question - are bright red Sansabelt slacks about to be in vogue again?

The official name of the event will be the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital For Children Open - rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? - but it’s what the move represents that sends those of us old enough to remember the 1960s and ‘70s rushing back to the glory days of celebrity golf.

There was a time - and I know I’m showing my age here - when a handful of tournaments were known by their celebrity hosts rather than banks, car manufacturers and hotel chains.

It started with Bing Crosby’s event on the Monterey Peninsula and included Bob Hope’s annual birdiefest in Palm Springs.

Glen Campbell, the Rhinestone Cowboy, had his name on a tournament. So did Jackie Gleason, Sammy Davis Jr. and Andy Williams.

It was a time when golf clothes were as wretchedly ugly as the Panthers’ offense and ‘double knit’ was what people wanted to wear - at least until they figured out they could make you sweat in places where you didn’t need to sweat.

Gradually, the names disappeared like the stars, leaving Hope’s name as the only one still affixed to a trophy.

Now Timberlake is bringing back the celebrity event. He can sing. He can dance. He can even tell secrets about Britney Spears if he wanted.

Maybe more celebrities will follow his lead.

Al Pacino could host the ‘Hoo-ah’ Classic.

Rachel Ray could host the ‘365 Ways To Make A Bogey Championship.’

Diddy could host the ‘Diddy Open.’

Tiger Woods could have his own tournament. Oh yeah, he has three - his Target World Challenge, the AT&T National in Washington and the Masters.


joe said...

Sometimes golf grows too far. Trump also lowers the class of the game.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Ron, while you're old enough to know that Der Bingle (heard that from my granddad, by the way...) had his Clambake, you may not be quite old enough to remember that the Clambake actually began not at Pebble Beach, but-prior to WWII-at the Rancho Santa Fe C.C. in San Diego County. It moved to Pebble after the war.

What does that have to do with your subject-the questionable standards of the PGA Tour for allowing a wanna-be tour pro (with his reputed 6 handicap) buy his way in with the money he's made by cashing in on his mediocre talent and his maximization of apparently off-the-charts fantastic publicists?

Not a heck of a lot; but even as someone younger than you, I still have much, much, more respect for the longevity of Crosby's talent and class vs. the lack thereof from Timberlake...

Oh, and you can lump Trump into the latter category, too, if you like. Poster 'Joe' is right--sometimes golf grows too far. Rather to have the GGO, Crosby Clambake, The Masters, or "The Colonial" than "the Blank Blank Bhampionship, Presented by Blank." (That goes for "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, too...)

Anonymous said...

The Difference is JT can actually play.