I used to know the golf tour stops. There was Riviera, the Crosby and Hope, Doral, Harbour Town and Greater Greensboro. Now there is the Frys.com, Valspar, Quicken Loans and the Dean & Deluca, not to mention all the other corporate-sponsored events that seem to change every couple of years. I have been involved with the tournament in Tampa for some time. It started as the JC Penny Classic. Since then it has been named the Buick, Chrysler, Pods, Transitions, EverBank and Valspar. A game steeped in tradition has abandoned the moniker for cash. I guess it was inevitable; it takes a lot of green to conduct a tournament, what with million-dollar payouts and infrastructure to attract fans and sponsors. Still, to name Hogan’s alley at Colonial the Dean & Deluca Championship sickens me. At least we still have the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial at Jack’s place in Ohio. But don’t you think that when these two pass on to that beautiful fairway in the sky that several companies won’t be beating down the door to get their name on the events. It’s a shame. Growing up, I knew all the great players of yesteryear. Their names were on golf clubs or attached to tournaments in remembrance of their heroics. I started off in golf with a Sam Snead 7-iron. My dad gave me three Gene Littler woods. I even had a Gene Sarazen 3-iron with a wooden shaft. Sometimes when I am teaching, I’ll mention a famous golfer from the past, and my young students will look at me with a blank stare. Sign of the times, I guess. I understand it, but I don’t have to like it.
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