Chris Baldwin This Week at September 13, 2005

Sports need to stop taking
credit for healing real-life tragedies

The best thing about the U.S. victory in the Solheim Cup wasn't Paula Creamer coming through in the clutch, LPGA legend Nancy Lopez surviving some questionable decisions or even Calendar Girl Natalie Gulbis showing she just might have some game to go with the glamour. No, the best part was how no one on the U.S. team tried to claim that their win uplifted the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

It surely was tempting to make the leap. For everyone in sports today wants to take credit for speeding the healing of a real-life tragedy. Only the Solheim winners showed some restraint. If this is Nancy Lopez's doing, she deserves to stay on as captain no matter how many times she insists on sticking a grumpy, washed-up Beth Daniel on the squad.

For everywhere else in sports, there were games being turned into Hurricane inspirational stories. If you watched any NFL on Sunday, you were hit with how the New Orleans Saints beat the favored (and let's face it, grossly overrated) Carolina Panthers for the Katrina survivors. Like someone sitting in a shelter in Houston or on their roof in the Gulf Coast is going, "Hell, I lost it all, but it looks like (Saints coach) Jim Haslett might have a chance to keep his high-dollar job another year! You know, I suddenly feel better!"

Sports as a salve for tragedy is one of the most overblown hype creations of the modern media age. Sports might be a distraction from real-life tragedy, but the people who are distracted are usually the ones not actually affected by the tragedy at all. If you lost someone important to you, games tend to lose all meaning.

Thankfully, the powers that be of women's golf seem to realize this. While the NFL turns Hurricane Katrina into an upcoming special weekend, one that promises to be about promoting the NFL as much as anything, Solheim Cup organizers just went about quietly trying to do the important thing. Raising money. They sold an extra 3,000 tickets to benefit Katrina relief and left it at that. Paula Creamer wasn't running around with the flag, declaring she'd helped heal a nation by dominating a golf match.

Women's golf in general and the Solheim Cup in particular are, of course, much lower profile than the NFL. Sometimes that's part of the charm of golf. Anyone who actually lived in New York after 9-11 knew how ridiculous the notion was that the Yankees' World Series run helped heal the city. More than half the baseball fans in the city utterly despise the Yankees (Mets fans and transplants tend to come together on this point).

When it comes to real-life pain, sports isn't even in the picture. At least golf understands that.

As always, welcomes your comments.

Discover Mexico's Newest Riviera!

Radisson FT Mcdowell ResortWin a FREE Vacation for 2
From incredible, value-priced accommodations, to first class and deluxe all-inclusive resorts, to some of the world’s most elegant, posh hotels, the Riviera Nayarit offers perfect accommodations for every taste and budget!

Ready to Visit the Newest Riviera? Book Now!

Karsten Golf CourseKarsten Golf Course a low-key,
high-energy Dye design in Tempe

Arizona State University's Karsten Golf Course is one of the hardest college tracks you'll find. With rolling hills and narrow fairways, this Dye design offers a bit of everything. It's easy to see why it's a good home base for a golf program that has produced Phil Mickelson, Heather Farr and a host of other tour stalwarts, Chris Baldwin writes. It is also one of the Tempe area's best options for serious golf at reasonable rates.

Full story | Arizona courses need to support locals, reader says

Stonebridge Golf Club For best public golf in Ann
Arbor, Mich., go beyond the city limits

If you're heading to Ann Arbor to root on the maize and blue in college football's grandest stage, don't forget your clubs. There's good variety here in terms of price and layouts. But to really get a true taste of how ripe the scene is, take a quick trip outside city limits. The local courses merely scratch the surface compared to the hundreds of offerings in the surrounding areas, writes Brandon Tucker.

Full story | Reader agrees that Hessel Ridge has big problems

Palm Springs Triple Play Golf Challenge

Palm Springs Golf PackageDates: June 1, 2007 - September 30, 2007
Play 3 of the top golf courses in Palm Springs including PGA West Stadium, PGA West Nicklaus, PGA West Norman, La Quinta Mountain, Trilogy Golf Club and Classic Club. Challenging desert courses together in one great package, starting from $179.

Call Now! 1-800-767-3574
For more information visit >>

Duran Golf Club Duran Golf Club in
Viera, Fla., challenges your
heart's - and driver's - desire

Just waiting for the homeowners to arrive, the Duran Golf Club is now the heart of the master-planned community of Viera, Fla. Duran has already won support as the best course in the Space Coast, and is a challenge for low-handicappers, yet playable for duffers. "We wanted to make sure the average player could move the ball around and not have any of these five- or six-hour rounds," said General Manager David Tomzak.

Full story | The Cheap Bastard needs your help!

Carlsbad Golf Packages
Dates: January 19, 2018 - December 31, 2018
Discover world-class golf at the legendary Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. Enjoy luxurious accommodations and a round of golf for each night booked, plus unlimited use of the golf practice facilities.
Price range: $449