Lord, I was born a ramblin' man - The Allman Brothers
Yesterday, Jim Nantz on the Masters broadcast referred to Homer Kelley's, "The Golfing Machine" as "The Golf Machine.” Maybe Nantz has an aversion to gerunds. You don’t expect him to be Grammar Girl or William Safire, but being an announcer for decades, you'd expect him to grasp the subtleties of the English language.
No matter, language is more de facto than de jure, no? It matters more that the average person understands you than what’s written in the textbooks, yes? It’s a mixed bag. Google yields more hits for “The Golfing Machine” than “The Golf Machine”. You wouldn’t write a book titled, The Footballing/Baseballing/Basketballing Machine. But you would call someone a running machine, a hiking machine, a picking machine (see the movie Moneyball.) The official website has the gerund plastered all over its pages. However, search results also yield a lot of people who intimately know TGM refer to it as “The Golf Machine”. So basically it’s interchangeable.
It would take a few seconds for Nantz to say “The Golf Machine, or the official title of the book, The Golfing Machine.” God knows there is enough time in a golf broadcast to fill. So why does this matter? It wouldn’t make a lookup easier, ecommerce and search algorithms would easily “fix” your mistake, Did you mean “The Golfing Machine”?
The subtle read, to me, is he never looked at the book at any length. He works with Gary McCord, who definitely knows TGM, there’s a 1 hour video of him talking about it with Mac O’Grady, but maybe McCord refers to it as The Golf Machine, but McCord probably had a copy of the book floating around and maybe Nantz never bothered to go through it given he had chances. Nantz has a lot more things to do to prepare for the broadcast (I'll give him he's probably got a lot of football and basketball knowledge taking up space in his memory) I guess, like prepping for the Tom Watson send off, schmoozing with TPTB, figuring out his opening and closing lines, friends. It makes me think that the way television and people who run golf, see golf differently than I do, way, way, differently. There's a dichotomy, talking with the best players, working with execs who basically control golf empires, versus me, the guy who just loves to play golf, learn golf.
The golf industry talks about popularizing golf, gaining a broader appeal. To do so, you need to start catering to a wider demographic. In my humble opinion, better instruction is part of that and starts with the little things. Like learning the basics of radar and Aimpoint and giving the public a simple, unbiased assessment of them, rather than something like “the fickle finger of fate” or old cliches of Rae’s Creek drawing putts in its general vicinity. Yes, the proper title of a book is an extreme case (and very anal), but it’s basically a step in the general direction. Facts, not opinion.
All this is stemming from an offhand interpretation of three letters, or maybe I misheard him or there was something wrong with the audio, so I could be totally wrong, but I ramble.