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Like the fair: always bigger and better

We may have loops and flinches and all sorts of other litter in our golf swings, faults we’ve repeated so often they are as much a part of our games as bogeys, but we do know a good swing when we see one.

And all we have to do to see one is look around at the kids playing golf today. We older folk watch with admiration and a little bit of did-you-see-that wonder.

Not only can these kids play, an awful lot of them do it with style, setting up properly, staying in balance and all that other good stuff that Luke Donald and Adam Scott and them do.

When Tiger Woods was slashing out win after win, he turned kids on to the game. He helped make it cool to play golf. And we see the results of that today.

The days of Lee Trevinos and Ben Hogans and Byron Nelsons coming out of caddy lots to become stars are passed. First of all, there aren’t many caddy lots left in this age of the golf cart. Secondly, there are clinics, schools, camps, private lessons available where kids learn the fundamentals. And there’s a lot of hanging around the course, practicing, putting, swinging around 18 with their clubs slung on their shoulder.

Things get better as time goes by. People are bigger and healthier today than they were a generation ago. Methods have been refined. Equipment is better. Horizons have expanded. Kids’ golf has kept pace.

Most of them will max out along the way but they will have a game to enjoy for the rest of their lives. The rest, the more gifted and devoted ones, will keep at it and maybe win some titles. A fortunate few from around the country will make it to pro golf. It’s a long, long shot but somebody’s going to do it. Might even be one of those kids we see out there swinging like a picture while we’re hunting for our lost ball.