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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

Windfarm Promoters Need
More Facts, Less Rhetoric

July 22, 2010

Without any solid facts yet available to justify it, the rosy rhetoric was intensified last week in regard to the supposed big-bucks benefits which Nebraska can expect to reap from wind-powered electricity production.

The latest example was a recent news story which reported a proposal for a “half-billion dollar windfarm” near Elgin, Neb., to be developed by Chicago-based Indenergy, described as the nation’s largest private wind farm developer.  (I have heard of at least one other private wind-energy developer which is also described as the nation’s largest.)

Applications for permits to construct wind energy projects, under legislation enacted last spring, must be approved by the Nebraska Power Review Board, a process that could take six to 12 months. 

State Sen. Chris Langemeier of Schuyler, who shepherded the wind power legislation through the Legislature, welcomed the Indenergy filing with a glowing but undetailed projection of the economic benefits which he said would flow into the state’s economy from the Indenergy project.  The news story said Indenergy proposes to build a “448-million dollar windfarm” but contained no details as to just how that money would be spent.

Senator Langemeier said the Indenergy project would generate $75 million in benefits, through taxes, lease payments and economic development.  He also said that the Indenergy application confirms that the new law will have a positive economic impact.

Financing, Customers Are Not Assured

But if you read far enough into the story, you learned that the Chicago-based company “believes” it will obtain financing.  A follow-up story the next day said that no power purchase agreements have been signed with customers, as is required by the new state law.

So you have an application for a wind energy farm which as yet has  no assured financing and no assured customers, but a state legislator asserting that that project would generate $75 million worth of benefits to Nebraska. 

There was no indication as to how Senator Langemeier reached his estimate of benefits nor whether they would be one-time or annual.  But I did a bit of arithmetic on the proposal, which would involve 133 wind turbines.  A generous annual payment to the landowner for each of those 133 turbines would be $8,000 in the first year of operation, with a small percentage increase (around 2.5% per year in some of the contracts with which I’m familiar). 

Eight thousand dollars times 133 would work out to $1,064,000 a year in initial payments to landowners.  That may be the most important part of a more realistic estimate of the continuing economic benefits once the construction activity is over. 

There would be modest property tax revenues, but as in the case of the annual payments for leases, a modest annual tax payment would be a very long way from helping add up to a total of $75 million.

It seems to me that all parties concerned would be better off to let windfarm developments speak for themselves as they turn into reality, rather than continuing to hype the possibilities which may or may not turn into reality. 

Certainly some wind power promoter, journalistic or legislative, should acknowledge that windfarm developments owned by non-Nebraska investors will (1) end Nebraska’s status as the only all-public-power state in the nation and (2) would not be possible without federal income tax forgiveness, thereby increasing the national debt, all in the name of promoting renewable energy projects which would not be economically feasible without the income tax break.

* * *

How Many People Really Care
About Conor Oberst’s Political Views?

Why is it that ultraliberal entertainers like Hollywood’s Barbra Streisand and Omaha’s Conor Oberst believe the public should be interested in their “progressive” political and social views? 

(“Progressive” was the word used to describe Oberst’s social views in a recent news story.  It’s the new label for people who used to be called liberals.)

Oberst, described in a news story as an Indie music icon, has scheduled a July 31 “Concert for Equality” in downtown Benson.  The news story indicated that Oberst’s primary target that evening will be his views on a Fremont City ordinance designed to deal with the problems of illegal immigration, although he also voiced indignation over the Arizona law designed to deal with the same problem.

In promoting the July 31 concert in Benson, Oberst was quoted as saying he is “outraged, saddened and embarrassed” for Fremont “and my state.”

To me, that amounts not to any understanding of the problems posed by illegal immigration but simply an insult to Americans who are trying to react to that massive national problem.

I suspect that I have a good deal of company in my feeling that the political views of “progressive” entertainers are too often massively overpublicized and that those views are truly of no more importance than those of any other American citizen.

* * *

Democratic Candidate For Governor Taught
Reporters How To Square The Circle

I said last week that today I would share with you some details of the story of the Nebraska Democratic Party’s allowing a bus boy to become the Democratic nominee for governor in 1944.

The story got national attention, of course.  For example, Time Magazine reported, “No one expected that Pat Heaton, an able small-town (Sidney, Neb.) lawyer and choice of the Democratic bosses, would lose the Democratic nomination. 

“Yet last week when the primary votes were counted, Pat Heaton was 344 votes behind George W. Olsen, a  baggy-clothed 62-year-old cafeteria bus boy at Omaha’s Martin bomber plant, and an absolute political unknown.”

The Time account reflected the common belief that Danish-born Olsen prevailed because of the “political charm” of a Scandinavian name.  (My opinion is that Olsen prevailed because of Democratic Party officials being asleep—fast asleep—at the political switch.)

Time pointed out that of the six top state officers below governor, three were named Johnson and two were named Swanson and all were renominated.

Time opined that while Scandinavians made up only 6.4% of Nebraska’s population, they were electable because “in Nebraska, Germans will not vote for Bohemians, and vice versa.  Neither wil Germans or Bohemians or Czechs vote for Irish, and vice versa.”

Voters Trusted Those Scandinavians

But all the special racial groups, Time Magazine said, can vote for a Scandinavian, adding that “perhaps more important in predominantly Protestant Nebraska, one certain way not to vote for a Catholic is to vote for a Scandinavian.”

Time Magazine may have overstated the case, but it certainly was true that in Nebraska for a good many years a Scandinavian name on the ballot was often found politically attractive.  Thankfully, that situation has changed, as this half-Danish American willingly concedes. 

There may be residual knee-jerk reactions.  But I believe strongly that religious or ethnic backgrounds no longer play a decisive role for or against a candidate in the very great majority of Nebraska elections.  (I’m not talking about Barack Obama’s electoral vote victory in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District or state legislative elections in the northeast Omaha district where Obama understandably built his electoral vote margin.)

Republican Governor Dwight Griswold beat George Olsen by more than 3 to 1, but the Democrats’ bus-boy candidate still pulled 128,760 votes.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot.  Democratic gubernatorial candidate George Olsen, according to the Time Magazine article, “used his newfound fame to popularize his hobby.  To correspondents, he distributed copies of his formula for squaring the circle.”

* * *

Against Very Long Odds, Meister Will
Try To Bail Out Dem Party Leaders

Speaking of Democratic gubernatorial candidates, 66 years after the party had a bus boy candidate, Scottsbluff attorney Mike Meister has saved the Nebraska party from another major political embarrassment by agreeing to fill a vacancy created earlier this month when Mark Lakers of Omaha, a political unknown, withdrew as the Democratic nominee for governor. 

Meister is less of a political unknown than Lakers, but not much less, in what I think would be a fair appraisal of name recognition. 

In his only effort to win statewide office, Meister pulled only 34% of the vote in losing to Republican Jon Bruning in the 2002 election of Nebraska’s attorney general.  Meister failed to carry a single county.  He pulled only 42% of the vote in his home county, Scotts Bluff.

Meister, an Omaha native who attended Creighton University, deserves his party’s thanks for saving Nebraska Democrats from the embarrassment of having no gubernatorial candidate along with the failure to have candidates for attorney general and auditor.

Nebraska Democratic Party Chairman Vic Covalt said Meister “has the party’s full support.”  Whether that will be enough to help Meister make a credible showing in an election 14 weeks away, Meister deserves credit for making the effort.

* * *

Even On “The Home Of Golf” Course,
One Victory Can Be Overhyped

I’m quick to admit that I’m more interested in watching televised golf tournaments—even when the venue is the famous St. Andrews “Old Course” where, the Scots claim, golf was first played—if there is an American golfer in contention.

When Mark Calcavecchia was in second-place contention after the first two rounds, I was especially interested in seeing how Calcavecchia would fare, since he is a former British Open champion and a native of Laurel, Nebraska.  (I once mentioned that fact to Calcavecchia in introducing myself as a fellow Nebraska native, and his reply made clear that he had no interest in talking with me about his birthplace). 

When Calcavecchia collapsed on the front nine of the third round on Saturday (he shot 43), my interest waned.  I continued to watch from time to time and even found myself cheering for Tiger Woods, something which I hadn’t done for some months now.

But as the attractive South African with the unpronounceable name walked away with the tournament, I found it harder to accept the hype which the CNN commentators pumped into their account of Louis Oosthuizen’s impressive but not exactly thrilling march to victory. 

I turned to another channel when one of the commentators enthused, “At this home of golf, he’s become a household name.”

‘Old Course’ Certainly Not The Greatest

Other commentators’ remarks implied that no matter where his golfing future takes him—and I believe he will continue to play well—he need not do anything further to make him a golfing immortal.  Come on, TV people.  One victory, even on “the home of golf” course, doesn’t create immortality. 

I have played the Old Course several times and have always been sensitive to its historic character.  But in terms of quality, not history, St. Andrews simply doesn’t rank among the great golf courses in the world, in my opinion. 

There are, I believe, a number of better courses in the British Isles and in Ireland—courses like Kingsbarns across the bay from St. Andrews, Turnberry and Royal Dornoch on the west coast of Scotland and Royal County Down in Ireland.

Beyond the historic significance, the Old Course offers some interesting eccentricities—like huge greens which serve two holes and the famous “Road Hole” which offers the sort of contrived difficulty which creates some weird golf shots.  (But a fun hole to play and watch others play, I quickly add.)

And it’s hard to rate a course as “great” in terms of pure golf when your wide, trap-free finishing hole is a par 4 which can be reached with a driver.

A final thought:  As I watched that calm, competent automaton from South Africa play the properly revered “home of golf,” this American observer couldn’t resist the thought:  Phil Mickelson, where were you when we needed you?

# # #

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