Americans with Golf Envy

According to the National Golf Foundation, some 30 million Americans play golf. But that means many more of us don't. Brian Unger looks at the lives of those who don't play, and who feel uncomfortable — even inadequate — whenever the subject comes up.

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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

To golf, now. Chad Campbell won the 47th Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs on Sunday. It's the subject of today's Unger Report. Brian Unger says these high profile tournaments can be painful for those who don't feel the love of the game.

BRIAN UNGER reporting:

Over 30 million people golf in the U.S., according to the National Golf Foundation, but so many can't.

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: Do you exhibit a general disinterest in golf? When other's talk about golf, do you shrink, feel left out and under stimulated? Though you possess the desire to golf, do you experience painful feelings of embarrassment because of your inability to perform on the golf course? Humiliation, because your friends and co-workers golf, and you don't? Well, you are not alone. Millions of men like you suffer from Projectile Dysfunction. They lack the passion to golf, lack the ability to golf; even lack interest in talking about golf.

Projectile Dysfunction, or PD, can affect healthy men who, on the outside, seem successful, normal, who even play other sports, but on the inside, they're hurting, because they can't golf, or love something as much as golf the way, say, Rush Limbaugh does.

Mr. RUSH LIMBAUGH (Commentator, The Rush Limbaugh Show): It's a middle exercise. It's got all kinds of things that can really improve your life rolled into one, if you take it seriously.

UNGER: But for people who can't golf, every day is a bad round of jokes, reminders, mockery from others who know that you don't have a clue what a birdie is. And especially during the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, you're reminded of all of the other things you'll never be, like a baseball Hall of Famer.

Unidentified Announcer #1: A hole in one for Roger Clemens.

UNGER: A star running back.

Unidentified Announcer #2: Marshall Faulk, the pride of Saint Louis, gets that one to fall. A future Hall of Famer for the NFL.

UNGER: A movie star.

Unidentified Announcer #3: Matthew McConaughey playing with Clemens. And look at this, a beauty. Shot of the day at the 7th tee.

UNGER: Or even a guy who once dated Britney Spears.

Unidentified Announcer #4: Here's Justin Timberlake, showing a little touch. He even put it right next to the flag, and roll in the birdie. Now at 14 another birdie chance, and Timberlake starting to feel like, hey, this is his stage.

UNGER: Until there's a pill to relieve Projectile Dysfunction, the only way to take a swing at PD is to take a lesson. You won't be Tiger Woods, but you might get a better job after bonding with the boss, gain access to the White House, wear a shirt with a swoosh on it, and maybe, just maybe, date Britney Spears. It's possible. A lot of guys have.

And that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.

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