Politicos Face Off On The Green

Originally published on June 17, 2011 10:58 am
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Well, joining us now is Peter Finch, who's an editor at Golf Digest and who's in Knoxville, Tennessee. Hi.


SIEGEL: What do you think? Do people really do that much business on the golf course? Or are the compromises that are struck on the links more about Mulligans than about legislative markups?

FINCH: Oh, people do a lot of business on the golf course, absolutely. I mean, Mulligans are part of it, of course, and handicap negotiating is a big part of the first-tee ritual. But no, a lot, a lot of business goes on on the golf course.

SIEGEL: When, in the carts as you're driving down or as you're strolling along the fairway? Give us a good business conversation in golf.

FINCH: I mean, the amazing thing about golf is once you've played golf with somebody, your relationship has changed in a way. You've had that experience together, four hours or probably more, and I think it makes it much easier to approach somebody and to talk to them about things that you want to accomplish together after you've played that round.

SIEGEL: So, perhaps a Monday morning phone call: John, great round of golf. Look, about the trillion dollars...


FINCH: Exactly. There's almost a magical quality to playing a round of golf with somebody. I mean, I know a non-golfer that probably sounds crazy, but if you've played golf with somebody you don't know or somebody who you know but maybe not that well, or maybe it's a rival, you experience something most of the time that's unlike you experience in any other sport or any other activity that I'm familiar with.

SIEGEL: What advice do you have for this illustrious foursome on Saturday?

FINCH: We have a little piece on GolfDigest.com right now, one of the pieces of advice we suggest is don't play for money. They should play for office supplies - yeah - because what a great thing for the - if the president and vice president won to be writing notes with...

SIEGEL: Congressional stationery.

FINCH: Congressional stationery, exactly, or vice versa, the House speaker leaving sticky notes from the Oval Office on his fridge.

SIEGEL: Is it a round of golf you would want to watch, or is it painful to watch four ordinary guys like us play a round of golf?

FINCH: Four ordinary guys, I would say, would be pretty painful, but these are not ordinary guys. So I would watch it. Our great golf writer Dan Jenkins(ph), I saw him quoted yesterday saying he would not watch four politicians do anything if it were in his own retina.


FINCH: But I would watch it.

SIEGEL: Well, Peter Finch, thanks for talking with us.

FINCH: My pleasure, yeah, it was great.

SIEGEL: Peter Finch, speaking to us from Knoxville, Tennessee. He is an editor at Golf Digest magazine. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.