I thought about our ongoing discussion about how gardening is covered in newspapers, magazines, and in books the other day when I opened the paper and read this column by Jon Carroll. It’s about golf, an activity I care nothing about. I never read the sports pages, watch sports on TV, listen to sports on the radio, or go to games.
Really, it would not be possible for anyone to care less about anything than I care about golf.
And yet. Fascinating article. The LPGA wants to require players to be fluent in English. So already–golf and immigration! Golf and English-only rules! OK, that’s interesting. But then there’s this:
Before every professional golf tournament,
professionals and amateurs play a round of golf together. Amateurs get
to compete with, banter with and get tips from real professionals.
Professionals get to make business contacts. Maybe there’s a little
flirting; maybe there’s a little drinking (not by the pros).
The LPGA raises a lot of money from the pro-ams; it gets a lot of
sponsors. In many ways, the pro-ams are the real event of the week; the
golf tournament is for the television money. And here’s the thing: The
young Korean players are lousy at the pro-ams.
The piece goes on to quote someone else saying that:
you put an 18- or 19-year-old girl who’s maybe not really comfortable
with her English, playing with four CEOs, and she’s not going to feel
comfortable making small talk…It’s teaching these girls how to do a pro-am more than teaching them English.
So this is what I’m talking about. It’s interesting. It’s universal. It’s more behind-the-scenes and insider-trading-ish than horticultural coverage ever gets. People with only a passing interest in golf, or no interest whatsoever, would nonetheless be engaged by this issue.
If sports writing can be this interesting and energetic, why can’t garden writing? Sports writers could stick to dull reports of yesterday’s scores and five easy tips for improving your golf swing, but they don’t. They go way beyond that.
And why not the plant world? Why not find out if people who are interested in plants are interested in more than five easy annuals for fall color?
Just a thought.