America the Gutted: Golfing Motor City (VIDEO)

Kyle Kim

NEW YORK — The Motor City has long been the poster child for America’s industrial decline.

But, aside from the porn-ish slide shows of industrial ruin posted regularly on news sites, it can be hard to get a grip on what the place actually feels like.

This summer, a knicker-wearing, golf club-toting TV reporter has managed to do what dozens of photo montages have not.

Pulitzer prize winning Charlie LeDuff, formerly of the New York Times and now with a Detroit Fox affiliate, somehow decided that the best way to get a street-level view of Motor City would be to golf across it.

And he manages to convey the desolation, unemployment, and government mismanagement that plagues Detroit in a 10-and-a-half-minute video that’s part editorial, part stunt and fully watchable.

 “How many cities are so empty, you can take a full-on swing?” he asks at the beginning of his 18-mile endeavor.

And while some have criticized the segment’s staged studio interludes and LeDuff’s occasionally cheesy on camera antics, it’s hard to argue with his point.