Golf and politics don’t mix. Never have.
Now, before you fire off another nasty letter to the editor, know that this is not another column lamenting the latest election cycle and the example being set by Donald J. Trump, who, love him or hate him, has generated more talk for good and ill than any golf course owner in history.
It’s about a perilous intersection between a game we love and a subject we hate; about the inevitable clash when a civil pastime runs headlong into a ruthless blood sport; about the hard feelings and loss of interest that come when the ugly job of citizenship intrudes on the recreation we use to escape the responsibilities of life.
It’s about spoiling a good walk by distracting from the escapism that the game was always meant to provide.
Cliff Roberts, the first chairman of Augusta National who was a mean man with more than a little old-world bigot in him, got one rule absolutely right: presidents and politicians were not to be seen during The Masters. Roberts even told his good friend and confidant, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.