For all you apple-pie-eating, Chevy-driving Americans who think the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay this June will be a celebration of all things red, white and blue, we have some sobering news.
First, they’ll be playing golf out there, not baseball. Golf is a game born on the other side of the pond. It involves swinging a stick from an unnatural body angle. It requires the ball-striker, not his opponent, to pursue the ball. And under its rules of etiquette, fans may not scream and taunt a player while he’s swinging.
The United States Golf Association surely wants us Wild West frontier folks to know these basics since, as the USGA likes to point out, this will be the first major golf championship ever held in the upper left hand corner of the country.
Second, all patriots are hereby forewarned that this 120-year-old American tournament lets foreigners play. They’re even allowed to win (four of the last five Open champions were Euros). The U.S. Open will even take annoying blokes like Ian Poulter, the whiney limey who turned heads this week by calling our links-style course a “complete farce.”
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Finally, loyal citizens should know this: Those jaunty matching outfits that 4,500 volunteers will wear at the local golfapalooza may say U.S. Open on the logo, but they don’t say U.S. on the manufacturer’s tag.
They were made in China and Indonesia.
We haven’t felt such betrayal since … well, since a few weeks ago when the Chinese flag flew over the state Capitol.
Look for the union label: A Tacoma man who signed up to be a volunteer contacted the Schnoz this week after checking the labels on his USGA-issued Ralph Lauren apparel.
Sure enough, the hat and polo shirts are from China, the windbreaker from Indonesia. We don’t want to know where the water bottle was made.
“I just think it’s cheesy. They should be American made,” our new Tacoma informant said, wary of giving his name lest the USGA hunt him down and seize his volunteer credentials.
It’s strange, he said, considering that Ralph Lauren was roasted for its Made-in-China gear worn by the U.S. Olympic Team in 2012, then atoned for its sins at the 2014 Olympics. Now it’s back to using overseas factories for what should be a distinctly American sporting event.
A USGA spokeswoman tells the Nose that many merchandise items at the Open will be American-made, including Northwest-crafted glass art, golf club head covers, ball markers and bag tags.
“It is our ongoing focus to source items domestically wherever possible,” she said.
And, heck, maybe our new pal shouldn’t complain. Volunteers only have to pay $165 for the privilege of working 20 to 30 hours during the Open; that means they’re paying the USGA less than minimum wage. And they get to keep the brand-name swag.
Also, because it’s frowned upon for volunteers to show up at the golf course in boxer shorts, Ralph Lauren is offering them a sweet deal: If they want pants to match their polo shirt, they can buy them at a special rate of $40 a pair.
Thanks but no thanks, says our new friend.
“I’m going to wear cargo shorts,” he said. “I’m not exactly a fashion icon.”
The clothes we’d like to see them wear: The USGA already does a cool thing by rotating its annual championship around American golf courses. It could do another cool thing by rotating its clothes manufacturing around American host communities. Kick Ralph Lauren to the curb and support local jobs.
There’s a whole line of homespun 2015 U.S. Open shirts we can envision at T Town Apparel, down on Market Street. Imagine how fetching they’d look on thousands of Chambers Bay volunteers:
• Welcome to Tacoma: America’s newest Tee Town.
• 253: A really bad golf score, a really swell place to live.
• You’ll love our fescue and other fine grasses in Tacoma.
• Tacoma: Dude, where’s my golf cart?
• University Place: A great place for golf, but sorry, still no university.
• We’ll take anyone in Tacoma. Even Ian Poulter. May the farce be with you.
And speaking of fashion crimes: The Pierce County prosecutor’s office had some of the most gung-ho cross dressers at last Friday’s 10th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes strut, a fundraiser for the Rebuilding Hope Sexual Assault Center for Pierce County.
Thank goodness the other 364 days a year they leave it to experienced drag queens at local clubs like Malarkey’s.
As usual, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist egged on his deputies. And as usual, he didn’t doll up for the walk, declining to wear the size-17 pumps with 4-inch heels that center director Tasha Smith bought for his Lurch-like frame years ago.
“I think he sat on the edge of a stage and tried them on for me, once,” Smith told the Proboscis.
Lindquist’s refusal to woman up (except for a sexy feather boa) is probably just as well.
“I’m actually terrified because he might break his ankle,” Smith said.
And the last thing we need is Your Prosecutor shopping around for a personal-injury attorney.