Rush Limbaugh has never really been my cup of tea (or is that tea party), more so because of his brashness and arrogance than because of his politics. So you can imagine my dilemma when I heard he was going to be the next pupil on one my favorite shows, The Haney Project on the Golf Channel (Tuesdays, 9 pm ET).
The program features Hank Haney – arguably the world’s best golf instructor – tutoring celebrities on their golf game. I loved the first two seasons of the series with NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and award-winning actor Ray Romano, but a big part of that was because I was a fan of both Barkley and Romano.
With that in mind, it would be a mild understatement to say I was disappointed when Golf Channel announced that Haney’s next pupil would be the outspoken, conservative radio host. Did I really want to hear him blather on every episode for the next few months about how smart he is and how better he could run the country? Did I want to see him use one of my favorite shows as a platform to promote himself?
But then it dawned on me that the great thing about golf is that it transcends politics, race, gender and pretty much every other social barrier that exists off the course. Oh, and there was one other draw: Haney, better known as Tiger Woods’ former swing coach, doesn’t take any BS from his students. After watching how direct he was with Barkley and Romano, I knew Limbaugh was in for a bigger lesson on humility than he was on golf.
So I reluctantly tuned into the premiere earlier this winter, and I have to say that it been some of the most riveting TV I have seen in a while. Sure, Rush was still arrogant and self-centered, but I found myself being drawn to that part of his personality outside of the political arena. And the part that appealed to me the most was how much he really wanted to get better at the sport, which essentially put him at Haney’s mercy. He listened closely, he practiced on the range (something he hated to do prior to meeting Haney) and he implemented what he was taught on the course.
I won’t say too much more for fear of spoiling it for those who want to go back and watch the handful of episodes that have already aired, but trust me that you don’t have to be conservative or a golf fan to enjoy this program. Rush might not appeal to me when he is on the radio, but I would be lying if I said he hasn’t grown on me on the golf course. It just goes to show that we should never judge a TV show by its cover.
Courtesy of Golf Channel