Thomas Bonk gained entry into the west wing of PGA Tour headquarters where Tim Finchem and most of the vice presidential army pushes paper crafts arfully worded memos and religiously reads GeoffShackelford.com (#1 in city in Florida, four months running!) PGATOUR.com.
Inside the West Building is where you find Finchem's office, down a carpeted hallway, past a flotilla of dark brown wooden office furniture and rows of metal cabinets. Photographs of smiling players cover the beige walls.
The green-carpeted Executive Suite is the biggest office in the building, as it probably should be. At the end near the window, two sofas and two chairs surround a coffee table. And at the other end of the office, Finchem's horseshoe-shaped wooden desk fronts a phalanx of six chairs that face him.
Is that one chair for every VP making over $1 million?
There are two computers on the credenza. A huge, flat screen television hugs on the wall. An armoire rests against the opposite wall, a striped dress shirt hanging on the outside.
Besides dozens of golf clubs leaning against the wall, other mementos are all around, most prominent among them a couple of dozen photographs of Finchem with presidents and golf's elite. There are also golf bags from four past Presidents Cup events -- a Finchem invention, just like the three-year-old FedEx Cup.
From the looks of things, Finchem runs a buttoned-down ship, at least judging from the buttoned-down dress shirts that are part of the dress code. Ties are required, except this week, because it's tournament time. But even on casual Fridays, golf shirts aren't allowed. Finchem walked in at a brisk pace. He was wearing a red golf shirt (Dress codes aren't for commissioners).
In all seriousness, I finally figured out how to look like an important tour staffer: Carry leather "padfolio" under arm, light blue oxford, dark slacks, designer shades. You can gain entry anywhere on the property with that look. Anywhere!