Monday, February 16, 2009

Celebrities Heighten the Public’s Interest in Golf

Walk onto any golf course in the world and you will find the perfect environment on which to make wonderful sociological observations. You may find the group of young professionals who drink a few too many beers and talk about their wild weekend nights. There will be the foursome of retired gentlemen who complain about the City Council and the ridiculous property tax hike it just passed. You may even spot a few dads walking the course with their young sons and daughters in hopes that a passion for the game of golf will be passed down to the next generation. But, what group is becoming an increasingly common sight on many of the nation’s premier golf courses? Celebrities! Perhaps you will not find Bill Murray or Jack Nicholson carrying their clubs around the Prairie Winds Golf Course that provides the backdrop in my novels, but their love for golf has certainly raised the sport’s profile among the general population.

Need proof that celebrities have increased interest in golf? The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am attracted more than 4.3 million viewers in 2007, more than all but two other golf tournaments up to that point in the season even though it is a minor tournament. The reason for the high ratings is the interest in the celebrities who participate. Golf Digest now publishes an annual list of Hollywood’s Top 100 Golfers. We are not only interested in the dating habits and latest diets of celebrities … we also want to know their handicap!

Politicians have a long history of adding their own brand of celebrity to the golf course. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower and others are known for their use of a few hours on the golf course as a way of releasing stress that comes with the most powerful office in the world. As President Clinton once said, "The great thing about golf is that even the bad days are wonderful." Our new president is known to relax on the basketball court instead of the golf course, so perhaps my beloved sport of choice will not have the spotlight for the next few years.

The fictional Prairie Winds Golf Course serves as the stage on which my characters share the details of their lives. They may not be celebrities, but their stories are still fascinating and have much to offer the readers.
Please visit my website to learn more about all three of my books. I hope you will read Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course and then let me know what you think!

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