(FORTUNE Magazine) – Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the first annual telethon for the golfless. I'm your host, Stanley Bing. And we're going to stay up here today until we hit our goal: a billion dollars for people who don't play the game and, more tragically, those who can't talk about it. That money can't do everything to erase the pain of those who are golf impaired and the people who love them. But it's a start. A couple of measly bucks might go a long way toward smoothing over the hurt these individuals feel, particularly the sensitive management types who are confronted with their shame on an almost daily basis at this time of year.

You know, ladies and gentlemen...give me a moment, there seems to be something in my eye that's making it tear here...there are a lot of causes and organizations that plead for your time, tolerance, patience, goodwill, and money. Some, it must be admitted, are more important. Whales, certainly, have it rough. So do a lot of other people. But the golfless are not to be sneezed at. The world is a cold and sorry place for them as they go from one humiliation to the next, denied the pleasure others feel in living, stripped of business opportunities and the laughter of peers engaged in healthful sport.

I can hear what you're thinking out there. You're doubting me. But we've got a lot of folks who have come a long way to testify, to share with us just exactly what it's like to live a business life without golf. What it can mean. And where it hurts.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen--the phones are already lighting up. I assure you we have plenty of operators, made up mostly of executives who don't play golf and the wives and children of those who do. I can feel you with us!

But enough about me. Let's take a minute to talk with Derek, a vice president in a media company that was recently purchased by another media company that is owned by a nonmedia company. Derek is going to talk to us about his battle with First Tee Syndrome. Derek?

Derek can't talk right now. Will somebody get him a sponge for his chin? I'll tell you what happened to Derek. He was at Pebble, right, Derek? Which is one of the most beautiful courses in the world, a place a golfer really has to live up to, and the way Derek tells it, he is forced to play while on retreat with the big boys. He rents the clubs and gets a neat little outfit so he really looks the part, and he gets up on the first tee and notices that he is not alone. That's kind of understating it. Around the first tee are men, mostly, of all nationalities and sizes, united by one thing alone--their love of this place, their love of golf, their love of the way they look in their golf shoes and gloves and little caps. And then...you want to tell what happened then, Derek?

I guess not. It seems that Derek struck out at the ball manfully several times. How many times? Derek has just whispered in my ear, ladies and gentlemen, that he whiffed no less than six times before picking up his ball and driving in one of those stupid little carts down the course and out of sight of the grandstanding dignitaries who were lounging by the pro shop, wagging their heads at him. Did they laugh, Derek? No? And that was worse, wasn't it?

Let's move on to our satellite feed from Williamsburg. Doug? Are you with me? Doug! Pay attention! He can't. See, ladies and gentlemen? All he wants to do is go rooting around in the potted plants in the corner of the remote studio. Why? The guy's a basket case because--now I know it sounds impossible--Doug and his pals Dan, Marty, and John lost 71 golf balls over the 16 holes they played in April at the interdivisional corporate retreat at the Kingsmill resort and conference center. Look at the guy. He needs rest, relaxation, and recuperation at a place where the only lime-green objects are in your drinks. Will you pay to send him there? You should. For are not all of us in business, in some sense, guilty for not calling a halt to the heinous hegemony of golf?

I know you are.

Can we go to the videotape now?

Yes, that's it. Folks, just look at these golf-impaired individuals parading around in the sunshine of a golfing club not far from one of our most sophisticated metropolitan areas. Look at what they are wearing to compensate for their condition. Brad over there is in a red and green plaid cap and trousers and a bright-yellow cardigan sweater. The cap has a little fuzzy ball of yarn on top of it. Doesn't he look like a buffoon? He doesn't know it! He thinks, in fact, that he looks cool. Next to him is a fellow we'll call Mr. Brautigan. He is the chief executive officer of his corporation. His shoes cost nearly $600 and have little fringes and tassels on them. They're white, and I think you'll agree they're repulsive. This is a man who is taken seriously everywhere he goes. Yet here on the golf course, under pressure from peers and friends, he surrenders his credibility!

Look at all the other men and women out there. Some, it is true, look fine. But they are exceptions. The majority, it must be said, look like clowns, flailing about and chopping spastically at the ground with blunt instruments. Just because we're used to walking past it every day doesn't mean it's right!

Ladies and gentlemen, before we close, I'd like to share a very special moment that happened to me just last night. I'm sitting at dinner with the presidents of three separate divisions. It seems they played a course in New Jersey together. When was this? Last August--nearly a year ago! And this one fellow, Arnie, says, and I'm paraphrasing here, "So this drive off the fourth tee--I really socked it. Creamed it. And it went straight as an arrow and just missed the bunker and I was up on the green in one! And it's a par four! And the green has this little pitch to the right but it's playing very fast and I take my putter and I figure I'm about 30 feet away, no less than that, and at first I think I hit it way too hard and it starts off boom, really quick, and I'm dying inside, because I figure, hey, I blew it, and we've got about 20 bucks riding on this one shot, and it, like, hits a patch and it, like, slows up like somebody pulled a string on it and pow! It goes in!"

Now, ladies and gentlemen, my face is in the mashed potatoes by this time, but I summon up the strength to lift my gaze up, expecting to see the rest of the table groaning off their chairs and onto the carpet. Instead, I see every other person at the table rapt with concentration on Arnie's amazing tale, and Leffinger, a very sharp guy, I've always thought, actually leans into the story and says, "You can pitch onto that green from the bunker with a putter on really wet days, that's how hard they've got those babies packed."

I don't remember much after that. I was drinking. But I think you can see the dimension of the problem. Yes, golf is strong. But we are stronger. And remember: Golf is not the only thing of value and interest to business people between April and December! There is also tennis, beer, and Republican politics! Thanks for giving! God bless! Luv ya!

By day, STANLEY BING is a real executive at a real FORTUNE 500 company obsessed with golf.