While perusing the collection of documentaries on DVD at the local library, I ran across The Back Nine which tells the story of a 40-year-old’s pursuit of his dream to play golf on the PGA Tour.
I thought it an interesting subject, given the rather common fantasy of most passionate golfers to have the talent and mental fortitude to play the game professionally. Unfortunately, Jon Fitzgerald – the subject, author, co-producer and co-director – has neither the talent nor the fortitude; and to throw in a little extra, he also doesn’t have the time.
You could see where this was heading halfway through, which is about where I stopped watching. If you really don’t have the time to devote to this “dream” of yours, why should I waste my time watching it? I’m just thankful I didn’t have to buy it!
Jon lines up FOUR … count’em! … FOUR coaches, a life coach, swing coach, and two other I-can’t-even-remember-what coaches to help him mold his game. He even goes out and wins his very first amateur tournament, surprisingly enough with a 12-over-par round. Now, I’m in no position to criticize another man’s golf game; but you have to wonder if his competition was even ambulatory with those scores!
Shortly after this comes the “WTF? moment”, when Jon outlines his struggle to find enough time in his whirlwind producer, film festival organizing, family-man life to devote to his game. When one of his golf coaches relates a conversation where Jon plans to spend “a whole ten hours a week” on his “professional” golf game, I lunged for the video remote’s Cease & Desist Button! Even the coach seemed incredulous at what little golfing he planned to do!
If I spent 10 hours-a-week on “nothing but golf”, I might just get my gargantuan handicap down to No Longer Embarrassing Myself. But even the Worst Golfer Alive could figure out where this time-starved project was heading … Absolutely Nowhere!
Apparently all that I missed by not watching the rest of the story was Mr. Fitzgerald’s struggle to balance the demands of his professional life and his family with his desire to play golf. I’m not sure how that differs from any other Regular Working Joe, who has to scrape together enough time to fit in his golf. And in addition, he also spends a good part of the project reconnecting with his two fathers. In other words, it turns into a guy’s version of a Lifetime Movie!
Me thinks Jon Fitzgerald was just looking for a Pay Day.
Give me a break …
Recommendation: Don’t bother!