Golf is Dead, Because the Audience Says So

Tiger Woods wins another major. Phil Mickelson throws a random one in. Arnold Palmer makes an awesome ESPN commercial. Jack Nicklaus is still the golden bear. I think, anyway.

We get it. We got it. We heard it. We lived it. We just didn’t really watch it. Time and time again. Golf tournament after golf tournament.

Now, I hope you give me just a little slack, because my golf knowledge is not the best, to put it mildly. I do golf, and enjoy it greatly, but I rarely watch it. I’ll make sure to catch the Masters, but that is about it for my “must see golf TV.” Right about now is when the real golfing fans pour it on. All 3% of you of sports fans.

I’m guessing I’m not alone in this. After all, the age of Faldo, Daly (always must see TV), Norman, peak Woods, Garcia (how will he choke next?), etc. You know the usual suspects, because I don’t. I could probably name up to 20 golfers, and have no clue on the majors they’ve won.

Shout-out to Eric Raskin.

I think golf, in general, is the ultimate gentleman’s game. It doesn’t speak to mass media. It doesn’t have too many scandals. OK, none if you don’t include Tiger. No, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka don’t count; we know they don’t like one another but by virtue of using Twitter to trade barbs, it’s obviously to drum up interest and viewership. Give the people what they want!

Golf just breathes a simplistic, simple, calming presence to life. I’ve written about this before, but want to reiterate my point. I tweeted myself about writing this article, and dammit, I’m a man of my word Eric Raskin! Golf is about taking the long game approach, to play and to life. It’s about walking, not running and using carts. It’s about having a few drinks to enjoy with your loved ones. Maybe even a stogie too.

I’ve literally written about this already here.

I’ve golfed with friends. I’ve golfed with bosses. I’ve golfed with co-workers, strangers and a girlfriend. Her and her mother. It was quite splendid actually. I’d love to do it again even! But all of those prove my point, that again, golf is a game to be enjoyed on your own time, regardless of the company and how you even play the game, much less approach it. It’s to escape. Have fun.

It’s about fun. It’s about escaping. It’s sort of like playing poker, which I also do plenty of. But as far as viewership and appealing to everyone in America, or wherever you may be watching from, it’s the hardcore fans and gamblers. Unless you’re talking about the Masters or in terms of poker, the World Series of Poker, it just doesn’t appeal because of it’s escapism.

The same goes for bowling and fishing. Or darts and horseshoes for all I know. We may love to play it, and follow it, but we don’t want to watch it for the most part. I don’t want to say that it’s boring, but the fact that we have these “celebrity plays” and are now gearing towards Twitter barbs tells me that it’s not about the great game anymore; and the golf world knows it.

Drama and intensity rule sports. Big hits, disputes, and rivalries matter. If you follow any two random players in the big three sports (football, basketball, baseball) and/or teams, you’ll have a wide range of opinions and hate. Or mad love. Passionate? Oh yes indeed! Golf? LOL. Who argues over golf?

Golf has become the new boxing, in a way. Jake Paul here, Nate Robinson there. No really, there he is, still on the mat. OK OK! I kid, I kid. But it’s the cold hard truth. Nobody wants to hear it, and if you get upset over it… it’s because it’s true. Golf needs celebrities. Golf needs made up drama. Golf needs Twitter wars. Golf needs Tiger scandals.

Think about it. 

When it was announced that DeChambeau and Koepka were playing against one another… but it was teaming up with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, what grabbed your attention? Non golf enthusiasts, please answer. Hardcore golf fans, absolutely, have your day. You finally got something in prime time outside of the few majors. But, it isn’t Nicklaus vs. Palmer. It isn’t Woods vs. Mickelson. Hey wait a minute, didn’t we have that? Oh yeah, because they added CELEBRITIES. And even now, they (golf authorities, I don’t know who) are adding… MORE CELEBRITIES.

It’s become a show, and shows attract viewers. They attract attention and promote the sport, right? I don’t really know, I’m asking. I’m also a little all over the place and may seem like I’m ranting, but it fired you up didn’t it? It grabbed your attention didn’t it? I created a little drama, am I right? This article makes you want to stand your greens ground and chip me. I like using golf terms, makes me feel like Stewie Griffin (nothing to do with golf by the way).

Golf is dead, you just haven’t admitted it yet.

PS — To my home state Green Bay Packers, please figure out this Aaron Rodgers mess. Football > Golf.

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