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Fox Sports skewers holiday turkeys, AWITP puts Atunyote on menu

In keeping with our “Chumps, Lunkheads, Dingbats” feature, a hat-tip goes to Kevin Hench of Fox Sports for this hilarious and highly accurate look at the biggest losers in sports in 2006. Kevin, are your fans called “Henchmen?”

We exposed several violators Hench picked in various columns this year. Click here to relive the biggest loser moments of:

Zenadine Zidane

Isiah Thomas 1 – The Natives Scream For Blood Sacrifice

Isiah 2 – Draft Night of the living dead

“The Player” – Good one Parcells! Way to stick it to him

Bode Miller

In the golf world, I’ll select the biggest offender of all for the Overcooked, Dry Stringy Turkey Award, TPC Utica…err…Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone Casino – the course that tells everyone how “we’re angling to host a major” and that they are every bit as good as “Whistling Straits, Kiawah Island and Pinehurst, nice company” and encourages people to call them “Fazio’s Northern Augusta” even thought the marketing guy has never set foot in any of those facilities and knows virtually nothing about golf, golf travel, golf designers or golf architecture.

Lord what drivel. First, noise proves nothing. Often the hen that laid a mere egg cackles and preens like she laid a gold ingot. Boy is that true here. The course has boring holes, no green contours – they are enormous and flat requiring little if any forethought – and substitutes the cliched, boring “doctrine of framing” – where every shot is spoon fed to you – for any interesting strategy at all. Hit it here, then hit it here, then putt. That’s TPC Utica,…I mean Atunyote.

Oh and then there is my personal favorite comment on that score – “No we don’t have any redans, false fronts, biarritzes or cross-hazards, but look at the waterfall and the Augusta White Sand in the bunkers. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Waterfalls and misuse of Augusta’s holy name again, so that’s their draw. Oh, but the Robb Report gave them a high rating, so they have that going for them.

The Robb Report…on golf. Are you done laughing yet? No? That’s OK, take your time, enjoy it. I know you don’t get the chance to ROTFLOL that much – and especially not at a $200 a round flavorless golf course.

That’s right, gulp in as many deep barrel-fulls of God’s freshest, greenest, dew-dripped, forest-fragrant air because for four days in otherwise beautiful September we will be immersed in the moral and physical stench of the most intolerable, infernal and insufferable old buzzard roost in all Golfdom.
The joke is on them though. The PGA Tour played them for chumps and – after TPC Utica Atunyote treated the misfortune of the BC Open, Kemper/Booz Allen and 84 Lumber with light fingered contempt – got awarded…drum roll please…the tour slot AFTER the end of the Tour Championship. Which means they get to host players 50-150 as they try to keep their card. How’s that for drama? We’ll be a-quiver with anticipation…if we can drag ourselves away from Steelers-Patriots, Bills-Lions, Cardinals-Raiders, Notre Dame-Michigan, Bowling Green-Kentucky State, Ithaca College-Hobart Field Hockey, Yankees-Red Sox, Royals-Mariners, the lower Oakland Roller derby Finals, Dust Bike Racing, Extreme Dominoes, Hot dog eating contests, the Cozumel Sail Fishing championship, funny cars, darts at the local bar on Route 12 North, alumni beer pong, full contact Scrabble, any girl within a 10 mile radius, bingo at the old folks home and any other such “king-hell spectator sport” that offers even more star power than the tour rats that will show up at Turning Stone.

The casino’s M.O. lately is “tell everybody who wasn’t here for the last BC Open what they missed!” [Read: a second rate casino with a tiny poker room and one good restaurant, a Brazilian Churrascuria, which no one in the area can pronounce let alone desire to go to…kinda like TPC Utica Atunyote itself]

Let’s be plain – they bought this tournament by throwing money at the tour – more than 33% more then the other venues. ***Source: The Prize money offered for this tournament – which they named after themselves – is $6 Million…an entire 33% higher then the purse offered by the next highest venue in the seven week fall series that takes place after the Tour Championship. We are still acquiring the details on how much they threw at the tour for the tournament rights as well and will report that.*** Oh, and to top it off, they named this…tournament…after themselves.

Likewise, the tour should be and is being castigated for taking casino money in the first instance – it sets a despicable precedent. It also promotes sopme of the most simoniacal behavior that has ever done violence to the spirit of golf by the most simoniacal course I have ever seen anywhere. If Alistair Mackenzie thought the soul of golf shrieked back when he was alive, the sound is deafening now.

But it is also funny. After all, casinos are calculated within microns to seperate the player from his money however possible. But here, the casino got played for chumps instead. Sure, they got a tournament. In fact, they have built a cottage industry specializing in getting turkeys tourneys no one cares about – the Club Pro Championship (Quick! Name the winner!…I’m still waiting…), the BC Open when it was hold the same week as the British Open (oh, did I have a belly laugh at that) and now the first weekend after the Tour Championship – after all the pros finish a grueling stretch they didn’t want to play in the first place.

Still, these bottom feeders expect us to listen to their strident wailings and cowtow. So I will.

Hail TPC Utica …Atunyote! King…of nothing.

“What sometimes passes for culture is often really just a commercial.” – Kurt Vonnegut

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