They say it’s better to give than to receive. They’re wrong, of course, especially when it comes to golf gifts. But in the spirit of the season, here are my holiday wishes for a galaxy of golf personalities and a few select others.
To Rory McIlroy: A reunion with his boyish side. The ruthless grownup act he’s played since the U.S. Open is already wearing thin.
To Tiger Woods: Good health and a firm grasp of his new swing mechanics. Also, a new inner voice that tells him to lighten up every now and then.
To Steve Williams: A framed version of the caddie’s code, with part 3 in all caps: “Show up, keep up, SHUT UP.”
To Ben Crane: His own Comedy Central special. (Hey, he’s a lot funnier than Dane freakin’ Cook.)
To Sergio Garcia: More fuel for his reignited fire.
To fans of professional golf: A 2012 season that fulfills its enormous promise.
To super-agent Chubby Chandler: A suitable replacement for the departed McIlroy. Scratch that – looks like Christmas came early for Chubby in the form of America phenom Peter Uihlein.
To Lexi Thompson: The maturity to deal with massive success as a mere teenager.
To Michelle Wie: Some of Lexi’s mojo.
To Cabot Links (Mike Keiser’s eastern version of Bandon Dunes): A grand opening.
To Cleveland Golf’s new Classic driver: A warm reception from tradition-minded consumers.
To Keegan Bradley: A spot on the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
To England: A major for Lee Westwood and/or Luke Donald. (Ian Poulter needs no excuse to don a green jacket.)
To Yani Tseng: The recognition she deserves as golf’s most dominant player.
To Darren Clarke: Another pitcher of Guinness and the return of the swing that deserted him post-Open Championship. On second thought, hold the Guinness for now.
To Jeff Overton: A lesson in handling your alcohol, or at least not acting like a punk when riding in a limo.
To golfers whose time is short: More par-3 courses like the eagerly anticipated Bandon Preserve.
To golf course architects: More quality construction sites (a la Chambers Bay, Ballyneal, the Prairie Club) to make up for the lack of quantity.
To golf course owners and operators: The guts to keep your fairways and greens fast and firm, even if it means a brown patch here and there.
To the denizens of GolfingValley: Long drives, pin-seeking iron shots and dead-eye putting. See you at the 19th hole.