Chavez takes a swing at golf

He has already railed, to little effect, against the capitalist corruption of the evil oil conglomerates, and the craven international media. Now President Hugo Chavez has turned his attention to a still more infuriating target: golf.
The Venezuelan leader is trying to shut down some of his country's best-known courses. "Let's leave this clear," Chavez said on his live television programme on Sunday. "Golf is a bourgeois sport." Nine courses will have been shut down since the campaign began in 2006.

This initiative from the most vocal self-proclaimed socialist revolutionary in Latin America makes perfect ideological sense. The courses occupy pricey land that could be used for housing. For Mr Chavez, they are as good a symbol as any of the social divisions in Venezuela – manicured fairways and greens used by the affluent few, juxtaposed with the slums and overcrowding that are the lot of the impoverished majority.
"I respect all sports," Chavez insisted on his TV show. But "do you mean to tell me that golf is a people's sport? It is not."
It is the favoured pursuit of those irredeemable champions of the bourgeois elite, the men who have occupied the White House.
Every recent US president has played the game. John F Kennedy is said to have owned the most graceful swing. Bill Clinton loved to give himself mulligans, and now President Obama has kept up the tradition. Mr Chavez's ire for the carts in particular may well be the result of George W Bush's "Golf Cart One''.

President Hugo Chavez is not the first to berate the game of golf.....

"A game in which one endeavours to control a ball with implements ill-adapted for the purpose," Woodrow Wilson said.

Even Winston Churchill, thought golf to be "like chasing a quinine pill around a cow pasture."

But few can rival Robin Williams' contempt: "Golf," he groused, "is a game where white men can dress up as black pimps and get away with it."

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