Tiger Woods may have closed 2010 as the most polarizing figure in golf (if not all sports). But Rush Limbaugh might open the new year by taking Tiger’s place.
Radio-talk king Limbaugh — beloved by conservatives, vilified by the Left, and a curiosity to just about everyone — will be laying bare his golf game beginning Tuesday night on the Golf Channel, as the latest celebrity to become part of The Haney Project.
The idea of the series is that Hank Haney, who teaches the pros to play, tries to take the golf game of some middling but well-intended amateur to a much higher plane.
His first season subject was pro-basketball alum Charles Barkley. Ray Romano, the actor who’s now doing some pretend golfing on his new series Men of a Certain Age, was Haney’s second season subject.
Limbaugh talks a lot about golf and golf outings in the casual spaces on his syndicated radio show, and his various junkets account for much of the vacation time that he takes from “the golden EIB [Excellence in Broadcasting] microphone” at his studios in Florida.
Certainly the Golf Channel’s demographic would seem to be in synch with that of Limbaugh’s listeners.
But never underestimate Limbaugh’s sense of self-worth. When Limbaugh began talking about his agreement to appear in The Haney Project last summer on his own show, he wasn’t shy about predicting that it would goose the Golf Channel’s ratings.
“I can’t tell you, the Golf Channel might have – when my show airs – 20 million viewers,” Limbaugh said in June, before he began dozens of hours of golf practice and taping of the show. “I’ve heard from everybody I’ve ever known, and people I don’t know who think they know me, talking about this. Half of them wanted to horn in and be part of this …
“This is going to be a big, big deal out there.”
Well, until the ratings are in, let's not Rush to any conclusions.