We Americans love our golf. Putters or drivers... walk or ride... overlapping or interlocking... fade or draw... slice or hook... birdie or bogey. We can't get enough. Now, it's not exactly ours. The Scottish hold the patent on the great game, having developed it on the isle sometime around the 17th Century. But we have adopted the sport and feel quite nicely about calling it our own. America, of course, can take credit for a number of pastimes. There's baseball, basketball, roller derby, dodgeball, ultimate Frisbee, punch buggy, Monopoly, curling... wait, that's Canadian. But you get the point.
We like to watch those games and occasionally play ourselves, but there's just something about golf that really gets our juices flowing. Golf, unlike other endeavors, can have any duffer riddled with anger, ready to toss clubs at one moment -- then, seconds later, smitten at the sight of a crisply stroked shot. It's quite possibly the only thing besides the opposite sex that can elicit such a gamut of emotions. A variety of fulfilled, red-blooded Americans will spend their Independence Day on the links. Do it the right way... the red, white, and blue way. That's right -- sound the trumpets! -- the Doral Golf Resort and Spa (4400 NW 87th Ave., Miami) allows you to play nine holes each on its Red, White, and Blue courses. Ask any dimplehead... that's damn patriotic! Granted, a day of golf might not be as noble as handing out flags at a hospital pediatric ward. But maybe you can fit that in too if you get up early enough. The cost is $100 per person, and the shotgun start takes place at 1 p.m. Call 305-591-6499. --Russ Evans
It Came From The Biking Underworld
Imagine the insults that are going to fly during the Ugly Bike Contest:
"Your bike's so ugly, it makes blind children cry."
"Oh yeah? Your bike's so ugly, they put it on a poster at the Toyota factory, to inspire workers to produce more cars."
"Well, your bike's so ugly, when you rode it to Taco Bell, everyone ran for the border."
"When your bike was born, the doctor slapped it and everybody at the Huffy factory."
"When yours was born, you looked at the afterbirth and said, 'Twins!'"
"Your bike's so ugly that you got a sign in your garage saying, 'Parking for butt-ugly bikes only.'"
The contest is part of a ChopperNite bicycle ride organized by unnamed leaders of the local biking underworld -- who are expected to bring their "choppers, cruisers, and what-the-hell-is-that cycles" out of hiding. As one rider put it, "This is a chance to see what happens when bike freaks get bored in their garages." Meet at the corner of Southern Boulevard and the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach; start pedaling at 7:30 p.m. Additional details are harder to find than Osama bin Laden; if you want more 411, track down an informant at your local bike shop. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Can the Marlins blast the Devil Rays?
Odds are, most South Floridians will be off from work on the Fourth of July. It's a holiday, and this year it lands on a Sunday, so the combination promises a very lazy afternoon filled with fireworks. The Florida Marlins don't get our nation's birthday off this year. They'll be working hard for their fans, grappling with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Pro Player Stadium (2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami) for another win to keep them near the top of the National League East standings. It won't be an easy task, as most would assume. The Devil Rays are actually doing well this year. Second-year manager Lou Piniella has the perennial doormats playing near .500 baseball. But don't misunderstand. For most Fish fans, it's a good bet that McKeon's sandlot stars will win on any day of the week... twice on Sunday. And that's particularly good, considering the scheduling for this affair. First pitch gets tossed at 3:05 p.m. Call 1-877-MARLINS. --Russ Evans
Anyone who's spent a long night at the Poor House can relate to the plight of baby sea turtles. You know the feeling: stumble out of the womb-like atmosphere into the cold, cruel, confusing world. It's an epic battle to make it home safely. As soon as sea turtles hatch from their eggs, they're chased by crabs and stepped on by humans. They mistake the roar of traffic for the roar of waves. They see a streetlight and think it's the moon. Wah! Can't they just get to the ocean, where the only annoyance is the occasional shark or killer whale? Sympathize during the "Sea Turtles and Their Babies" program at the Anne Kolb Nature Center (751 Sheridan St., Hollywood) at 8 p.m. any Wednesday or Friday between July 7 and September 3. After a lecture, accompany a naturalist on a hatchling release. Cost: $3. Preregister by calling 954-926-2480. -- Deirdra Funcheon