May 21, 2003 - In a Perfect World

By: Jeff Shelley

1. Walking three-and-half-hour rounds on golf courses where cell phones and power carts are banned.

2. Courses with irrigation water usage so efficient that golf serves as the model for environmental practices around the world.

3. My mother getting a posthumous invitation to join Augusta National Golf Club, with unlimited playing privileges dedicated to the son who plays the most golf.

4. The PGA Tour's most visible members hailing the courage of Annika Sorenstam, with the entire Tour honoring her during a Dallas luncheon following the 2003 Colonial, regardless of her performance.

5. Having a place for mental scorecards so I can unerringly remember peoples' names away from the golf course.

6. Seeing the PGA Tour stage a tournament at my course, in the dead of winter, with the entrants - having mandatory attendance - playing summer rules.

7. Have the Hooter girls stage an annual tournament using those plastic toddler golf clubs. (My wife once had this dream - except she was naked. Thousands watched as she'd hit a shot, then run and hide behind a tree. I was the household's only golfer at the time, and when she woke up she was very angry at me).

8. Now that I can hit a draw, be able to hit my old fade upon command.

9. Hear the National Golf Foundation apologize to the hundreds of developers who went belly up after being assured their new high-end courses were virtually guaranteed success.

10. Watch Jay Haas turn 50, then win the Masters and U.S. Open - as a new member of the Champions Tour.

11. Have a hotline to God for anyone who hits a ball into you without yelling "Fore!" or who doesn't repair ball marks and divots. Might as well do the same for those who leave cigar butts on the collars of greens.

12. Institute a permanent ban on all those smelly perfume ads that stink up golf magazines.

13. Eliminate all but two swing thoughts - forever, thus reducing the size of golf magazines to more manageable proportions.

14. See David Feherty become a legitimate candidate for the U.S. presidency on the Irish Golfer ticket.

15. Ensure the courtesy cars provided the PGA Tour pros are Volkswagen bugs - the kind that are made in Mexico.

16. See the PGA of America return to its role as a supporter of its members.

17. Require any environmental group that feels it must assail the golf industry make its first phone call to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America or the local turfgrass association.

18. Let educational initiatives like the First Green program - and others like it - that promote the "green industry" to school-age kids proliferate throughout the nation.

19. Let every tee shot bounce another 50 yards whenever it finds a fairway, but have every wayward shot - which, of course, wouldn't be eliminated totally - backspin into the short grass.

20. See golf return to its place as the "people's game," whereby everyone has access to it for a reasonable price - like $5 a round.