By Barry Janoff
June 12, 2013: The U.S. Golf Assn. is trying to get some respect by enlisting a group of legendary golfers and a Hollywood legend to support a new campaign, "While We're Young," described as "the movement to improve pace of play and reduce the time it takes to play" a round of golf.
The humorous effort stars Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Paula Creamer, Annika Sorenstam and director/actor Clint Eastwood. The campaign takes its name from a line uttered by Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik in the 1980 movie, Caddyshack.
The campaign will break this week during coverage of the 2013 U.S. Open Championship, then air throughout the summer on broadcast and cable during coverage of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur on NBC, ESPN and Golf Channel. TV spots will also run during broadcasts of non-USGA golf events via the LPGA and The PGA of America.
“Pace of play is a big issue; rounds of golf take too long and no one enjoys it,” Woods said in a statement. “‘While we’re young’ is part of the golfing vocabulary, and Caddyshack is iconic in our sport. This campaign is lighthearted, but it also shows that we need to pick up the pace of play.”
Dangerfield, who passed away in 2004 and whose catch phrase was "I don't get no respect," utters the line after Ted Knight's character, Judge Elihu Smails, takes an inordinately long time to hit his drive on the first tee, with Czervik in the next foursome.
In his spot, Woods sizes up a putt for what seems like an eternity to the golfers behind him, who turn out to be a group of kids waiting for Woods to finish his round of miniature golf. "While we're young!" one of the kids admonishes Woods, who ends up missing his putt into the mouth of a plastic alligator. "He thinks it's a Major," observes another kid. (See the full spot here.)
In the Eastwood spot, Clint is on a golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Before taking his shot, he runs through a series of options in his mind. "Okay, I have to stay out of this lousy bunker. What did I use last time: a wedge or a Nine? Probably a Nine." Finally, Palmer, 83, says to Eastwood, 83, "While we're young!" (See the full spot here.)
The USGA, citing a recent study by the National Golf Foundation, said that "91% of serious golfers are bothered by slow play and say it detracts from their golf experience; more than 70% believe pace of play has worsened over time; and half acknowledged that they walked off the course due to frustration over a marathon round of golf."