Showing posts with label Golf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Golf. Show all posts

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Masters


This is the greatest of all possible outcomes for The Masters. They really don't want the dirty, stumblebum masses there anyway. And those that do crash through the gates and walk those hallowed fairways are called patrons, not fans.
Augusta National Golf Club announced Wednesday that the 2020 Masters Tournament will not permit fans on the grounds during this year's event from Nov. 9-15. 
Chairman Fred Ridley issued a statement on the decision: 
"Since our initial announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have remained committed to a rescheduled Tournament in November while continually examining how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic. As we have considered the issues facing us, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Masters always has been our first and most important priority. 
"Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome."
Every Masters tournament from now on will be played like this if it works out all right.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Rory McIlroy is Terrified of Being Seen With Trump


This guy seems traumatized:
McIlroy was asked about that round with the president and vowed it would be the last time he’d ever play with Trump.
Asked about that round and the subsequent reaction it elicited, McIlroy said, “Guilt by association,’’ adding, “I haven’t done it since, so there’s one answer to [your] question.’’

McIlroy then indicated he’d been invited to play with the president since but hasn’t. When asked if the reason he hasn’t played again with Trump was by choice, McIlroy said, “Out of choice.’’
The article goes on to let McIlroy weasel his way out of saying anything negative about Trump and still signal to anyone who might give him money for something that he's definitely not one of those MAGA freaks who stands outside of a half-empty arena screaming about Q-Anon.

Really, we should give McIlroy credit for taking the path known to weasels everywhere. Letting him say "what a nice fellow, no I don't agree with him, and I sure won't ever appear in a public place with him again, can't we all just get along" is the normal way functioning adults behave in public in the year of our Lord 2020 when there are promotional considerations and product endorsements on the line.

If Trump were to walk up to McIlroy on a golf course sometime in the next six months, this poor fellow would tear both hammys trying to get away from the cameras.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Augusta National Remains a National Disgrace

When the outrage rose to a crescendo several years ago, Augusta National survived the onslaught. This was very similar to the way that Rush Limbaugh survived numerous scandals and slips of the tongue.

I think Augusta National is in for a tough year, and women are going to go after them, and soon. Besides, the old boys in Augusta are dying off, and fast.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Some People Don't Know When to Give Up


Clearly, his game is not there. Why keep this charade up?

It has gotten to the point where I don't want to blog about Tiger Woods anymore. What's the point?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Everyone Knew Steve Williams Was Going to Make an Ass Out of Himself This Past Weekend


This post is a bit indulgent, but oh well. Let the man speak--he's carried golf clubs on his shoulder.

I think there's a bit more to the idea that Steve Williams was fired solely for caddying for someone else--there is a backstory there that would seem to indicate that Tiger Woods has had issues with his past and issues with the people who are supposed to be getting him back on his feet. I think that what is really going on here is that the people who have been telling Tiger Woods what to do in order to get back into shape to play competitive golf have been jettisoned so that Tiger can right the ship himself and not owe anyone anything. Tiger's not going anywhere anymore--except down. And he's not going to change that until he makes peace with himself and figures out how to play golf the way he used to play golf. But even if his mind gets right with it, his body probably won't. It's sad.

Anyone shocked that Williams would go out and savor the moment and take shots at Tiger hasn't been paying attention.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sorry About That, Norm


This is just sad:
After launching two sports news shows this year, Comedy Central is not continuing with either. The cable network has decided not to go forward with a second season of Sports Show With Norm Macdonald, which ended its freshman season June 7, or Onion SportsDome, which wrapped its first season March 15.
Macdonald did a great job at the U.S. Open. What a shame.

At some point, I'll gather together my reasons for hating Comedy Central. Another time, another blog, perhaps.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Norm Macdonald at the US Open


Norm Macdonald

Norm Macdonald
 

Norm Macdonald

One of the reasons why I have added Twitter is to catch a lot of the breaking news that is going out over Twitter these days. And, in addition to this, I've discovered that there are some great feeds from people who are at various events or are "tweeting" about things (I have no idea if Macdonald is actually there at the U.S. Open, so I should add that caveat).

I've caught dozens of his missives so far this weekend. He's done a great job on his Twitter feed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This is Why I Don't Watch Tennis

[They removed the video -

I had a swell piece of video, and because the Worldwide Leader is a cheap punk in a cheap suit, the video has been yanked. Everyone is so afraid of ESPN that all they have to do is whine to YouTube and the embarrassing video gets yanked. Well, talk about stepping on customer interest in the content you provide as a virtual monopoly.

If that's NOT what happened here, my bad. But, as a blogger, I am sick and goddamned tired of this whole "video has been removed because of a terms of service blah blah blah" thing. Cowboy the hell up, YouTube. Make them sue you. Make them prove that what you've done is wrong. You are not stealing their content. You are letting us show just what a ridiculous jackass they have hired in Pam Shriver. ]



The end is getting sad and ugly for James Blake, but this was just ridiculous.

Blake has lost his confidence, his fire, his want-to. He was crushed Tuesday by Robin Haase, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, in the first round of Wimbledon, and then talked about the possibility of retiring soon.

But his frustration came out, as Blake got into an argument with ESPN analyst Pam Shriver, a former player. Shriver and Blake were bickering, and he even ended up calling her an ass. On court. During the match.

People will be looking for an apology from Blake now, another embarrassment for an aging former star whose career is going, going ...

And I'll say this: He should apologize for the way he is playing.

But as for the other stuff? Shriver and ESPN should apologize to Blake.

This was Shriver's fault, and she should have been kicked out.


Leaving aside the ridiculousness of yelling at someone in a broadcast booth who can be overheard calling you a putz, where on Earth does any sport allow this to happen?

If this happened on a golf course, they'd wear out the turnstiles throwing people out.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hank Haney Bails on the Tiger Woods Circus



Hank Haney
I hope that this is innocent and all--I don't relish the idea of Tiger Woods presiding over the fiasco of a career and a personal life. To me, the man needs to stop thinking he can get away with things because of the possibility that a lot of what he does will be excused because he's a "kid." Tiger Woods is not a kid, and now he's a golfer without a swing coach:
Tiger Woods’ longtime swing coach resigned Monday night, leaving the world’s No. 1 player without one of his top advisers as he tries to rebuild his game.
Hank Haney said in a statement to the Golf Channel that he enjoyed working with Woods but he thinks it’s time for him to step aside as his coach.
“I will always look back upon our past half-dozen years together as my best days in professional golf,” he said. “It would be a dream of any coach to have a student like Tiger Woods and for me it has come true. Just so there is no confusion I would like to make it clear that this is my decision."
Well, the speculation was correct, and Hank Haney probably doesn't have to worry about picking up clients. In fact, Hank has a pretty good deal going for himself. Here's what Hank put on his website last night:
I have informed Tiger Woods this evening that I will no longer be his coach.

I would like to thank Tiger for the opportunity that I have had to work with him over the past 6 plus years. Tiger Woods has done the work to achieve a level of greatness that I believe the game of golf has never seen before and I will always appreciate the opportunity that I have had to contribute to his successes. I have also enjoyed the association that I have had with Tiger both on and off the golf course as I have had some incredible experiences. 
But, what people who know golf can tell you, is that coaching is important, but mental preparedness is more important. Tiger can be the best-coached golfer in the world and still unravel like a cheap sweater when his head gets in the way. I really think there are physical issues here, and perhaps my speculation about pain killers was not as wildly off the mark as it could have been.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

There Are Hard Days Ahead for Tiger Woods


I had made a rather rash and bold statement that could have come back to haunt me. I said that the reason why Phil Mickelson was welcoming a pairing with Tiger Woods stemmed from the fact that Tiger's best years are now well behind him and I really don't think Tiger presents the same problem for other golfers that he once did.
Tiger will certainly win some tournaments in the future. He will do well enough to surprise some people. But he's not the Tiger of the Tiger Slam years, nor is he as formidable as he once was. The young man has pissed all of that away, and his mental issues are unresolved. 
Lee Westwood wound up where he started in The Players Championship - with the lead. 

Only now he has a lot more company.
Westwood avoided mistakes on the back nine for a 2-under 70 that gave him a one-shot lead over Robert Allenby going into the final round on the always unpredictable TPC Sawgrass.
Phil Mickelson, nine shots behind at the start of the day, shot a 66 to renew hopes of winning and becoming No. 1 in the world for the first time. He was five shots behind. 

Mickelson would have to win and have Tiger Woods finish out of the top five, and Woods did his part. His bogey-bogey finish gave him a 71 and left him 10 shots behind in a tie for 45th.
Tied for 45th is not exactly where we are used to seeing Tiger. What I want to know is, is he fit? Is he feeling any pain in his knee? This is not something that should be ignored. We don't know if he's even a hundred percent, physically. There was a real danger of him missing the cut; expect more of that until things start to turn around for Tiger, assuming they will turn around for him. Only the rubes are making him the favorite in these tournaments. How does your smart money look now, gamblers?
There was a time when Lefty didn't have a single major win to call his own, and it looked like Tiger would rule golf for twenty years or more. Those days are over.
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

This is Not What a Fan Does

I don't know if this poor young man is just "misunderstood" or what, but he's anything but a "fan" of the game of golf:


A 36-year-old man attending the second round of The Players Championship was subdued by a Taser on Friday.

Travis Parmelee, of Jacksonville, was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, said St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Dave Messenger.

Messenger said course marshals notified officers that Parmelee was yelling at players and being belligerent near the 11th hole. Officers responded and attempted to calm Parmelee down, but they said he became more combative.

This is why I don't go to golf tournaments in Northern Florida--too many leering, hollering fools and way too much beer being served on the course. I have been known to be ejected from tournaments myself; I am banned for life from several facilities, most notably, Fenway Park; but heckling during a golf game is unseemly. That's a bit like enjoying something Jay Leno does on his little television program; it simply will not do.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

An Unfair Criticism of President Obama

President Obama, golfing, Martha's Vineyard, 2009


I realize that it looks bad for the President to be playing golf. From a public relations point of view, yes, it is a losing proposition for the President to play golf in a time of war or to look as if he's more interested in his golf game than national security. I've had to consider my own opinions on this to be formed out of passion rather than careful consideration. Maybe, just maybe, I will actually see a man or a woman in the White House of whom I approve, and, maybe, just maybe, they will like to play golf. It's not outside of the realm of possibility. What will I do then? Will I put on the mask of the hypocrite and walk around carrying water for that person?


It looks bad for President Obama to be playing golf while underwear bombers and evangelical jihadists and bankers and used car salesmen are running around, trying to ruin this country. In a more settled time, perhaps it wouldn't look as bad. If we had peace and prosperity, fine by me. Given our current state of affairs, he is due for some, but not all of this criticism:



It's been a tough first year for President Obama, as critics throughout the body politic bemoan that Mr. Change-We-Can-Believe-In is looking more and more like Mr. Politics-As-Usual. With the coming new year, however, POTUS has a prime opportunity to regroup, reload, and revamp his image. He could start by ditching golf.

Seriously. Its venerable White House history notwithstanding, golf is a dubious pastime for any decent, sane person, much less for this particular president. Why would a leader vowing to shake up Washington--to alter the very nature of politics--sell his soul to a leisure activity that screams stodgy, hyperconventional Old Guard?

There are signs that Obama has been nursing a creeping golf addiction for some time now. He took up the game a little more than a decade ago as a newbie state senator hoping to bond with more rural, conservative colleagues. Next thing you know, he was hooked--playing for cash, fretting over his form, and goading staffers to cut out of work early for a quick round.

During the 2008 race, Obama's golf outings drew less notice than his battles on the hard court. But, now that he's firmly ensconced in the Oval Office, the sticks have come out of the closet as Obama constantly looks to squeeze in a few holes: on Father's Day, during the family's summer holiday on the Vineyard, immediately upon touching down from his June trip to Europe. It is often noted that this president hit the links more frequently in his first nine months than the reared-on-golf George W. did in his first two years (after which W. conspicuously swore off the game out of respect for the troops). Currently ranked eighth on Golf Digest's list of presidential golfers (sandwiched between Clinton and Reagan), Obama seems intent on moving up the ladder--despite reports that he's something of a duffer.



In point of fact, it was a bad knee that put George W. Bush off the links, and a bad knee is what will do that every time. You cannot play golf with a knee or a back problem. All Presidents deserve their right to recreation. It would be unfair to say that the President has to be in Washington D.C. all of the time, padding around in rolled-up shirtsleeves with a frown worn down and a stack of papers nearby.

It is especially unfair to the First Family to expect them to be denied their right to recreation as well. Whether this criticism comes from the left or right is a bit unfair, and I have to say that I have engaged in it. I have criticized the social calendar, but I don't deny that they have a right to their affairs. I don't deny that they should have their chance to shine. I don't think you can be a good American and sneer at what perks come with that office. My bullshit is refuted in this case. There's probably evidence of it laying around here on the blog.

Who wouldn't want to play golf in Hawaii on a day like today? Who would deny him the right to have some down time? It does set a great example for Fatass Nation to get out and do something. There's an example of fitness here that should be followed. I guess I should be more conciliatory to this aspect of the President's daily routine and right to recreation. I do note that it's a losing proposition in the public mind. Is that fair? Perhaps not.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When The Money Stops, the Hookers Do Tend to Give Up Your Secrets

Nah, Keep Digging, Sir...


Am I reading this wrong?



Despite claims that Tiger Woods was cheap when it came to spending money on the women with whom he had relationships, some did benefit financially and continue to do so.


According to several women who were involved with the golfer, Woods wired money to them on a monthly basis. The dollar amounts they cite range from $5,000 to $10,000 per month, and there’s talk among those women that someone out there might be getting as much as $20,000 per month.


“The money comes via a wire transfer,” said one woman. “There’s no contract about it, there’s no discussion about what it’s for, but it’s implied that it’s in exchange for keeping quiet about his affair.”


According to that same woman, Woods continued to be in touch in the days following his Thanksgiving night car accident. “Elin took his cell phone away, so he had to call from his land line at home,” said one. “He hasn’t called in at least a week though.”



Of course, Tiger gets all of that money back from his whores, now that they've gone on talk shows and all that, correct?


Oh, wait. There was no contract. So, unlike the huge losses that Tiger now has to suffer because Accenture, Gillette, and a growing number of advertisers have cancelled his contractstheir with him, Tiger doesn't get his whoring around money back from the flopsy butter hogs and the anal porn stars and the hillbilly trailer trash he was banging. And I say that as a man who has nothing against whores. I love whores. I'm not a former billionaire who made bank presenting myself as an elite athlete and an establishment darling, however. Has Jim Brown reached out to Tiger yet? Can't wait for that debacle.


That's how that works, right? Sometimes, I'm so naive about these things. I really need to do more whoring around.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tiger angers Jesper Parnevik


Put this in the category of, "tell us how you really feel:"
In the most critical comment from a player, Jesper Parnevik said he owed Elin Nordegren an apology for introducing her to Tiger Woods. She once worked as a nanny for the Parnevik family.

“We probably thought he was a better guy than he is,” Parnevik told The Golf Channel from West Palm Beach, Fla., where he is in the final stage of PGA Tour qualifying.

Police said Woods’ wife told them she smashed out the back window of his Cadillac Escalade SUV with a golf club to help get him out after he struck a fire hydrant and tree early last Friday.

“I would probably need to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time instead of a 3-iron,” Parnevik said, adding that he has not spoken to Woods since the accident.

“It’s a private thing, of course,” the Swede said. “But when you are the guy he is — the world’s best athlete — you should think more before you do stuff ... and maybe not ‘Just do it,’ like Nike says.”

Notice how Parnevik goes directly at Tiger's money with that "Just do it" remark? That's some serious smack talking. Do you think that went too far? I don't. I think Parnevik has gotten some heat from his own people for putting the former Mrs. Nordegren in a world where she can now walk away with quite a bit of Tiger's money--what a terrible thing to do to a woman.

As for the mental aspect, and the intimidation aspect, as it relates to golf, do you think Tiger is now finished as far as being able to break other players down? Do you think Tiger isn't going to go out there next year and run like a scared titty baby from Parnevik? What backs up your skills as a golfer is certitude, and I don't know how much of that Tiger has left. I really don't.

I have to believe that Parnevik lives in Tiger's head now.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What Happened Here?

The Buick Enclave, which was NOT the vehicle the Tiger Woods was driving when he crashed


Negligent, impaired, or just plain confused?



Tiger Woods was seriously injured early Friday when he hit a fire hydrant and a tree near his Florida home, authorities said.


The Florida Highway Patrol said the PGA star hit the fire hydrant and tree as he pulled out of his driveway in his 2009 Cadillac sport utility vehicle.


Mr. Woods was taken to Health Central Hospital. Officials there didn't have record of him as a patient, though the news release said Mr. Woods' injuries were serious.


The highway patrol said the crash is still under investigation, and charges are pending. However, the highway patrol said the crash was not alcohol-related.


Mr. Woods, 33 years old, owns a home in the exclusive subdivision of Isleworth near Orlando. Orange County property records indicate his home is valued at $2.4 million.



Woods was driving a Cadillac--and yet, he's the spokesperson for the Buick Enclave, pictured above. I would say that the pending charges are for negligent driving or driving while impaired in some way.

Pain killers? Is it wrong to suggest that Woods may have been under the influence of a pain killer of some type? Given his history of being injured, is that outside of the realm of possibility?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Missing the Glory Days of Golf

Warwick Hills, 17th Hole


Tough times for the economy mean tough times for golf courses:



The recession has dealt a mean bogey to golf. Hundreds of courses have closed in the last two years and many formerly exclusive country clubs have slashed fees or opened their greens to the public.

Sales of golf balls, clubs and apparel -- a multibillion-dollar industry -- have dipped 10% this year as players trim spending, according to golf researcher Pellucid Corp.

But perhaps the most dramatic examples of golf's woes can be seen in the string of barren fairways and locked gates. Through September of this year, at least 114 of the nation's 16,000 or so golf courses had closed, according to the National Golf Foundation, a number that was offset only partly by the opening of 44 new courses.

"People are cutting golf out of their diets because they've got to cut something," said Jeff Woolson, a real estate broker with Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis who specializes in buying and selling golf courses.

Woolson and other real estate experts say most golf courses have lost 30% to 50% of their worth in the last two years. Several courses have been forced into bankruptcy. Among them is Chevy Chase Country Club in Glendale, which dates to 1925 and was designed by noted golf architect William P. Bell, who also designed the Bel Air Country Club and the Newport Beach Country Club.

The owners tried to sell it for $6.5 million, but couldn't find a buyer before the bankruptcy court decided to turn it over to the lender. The asking price, which would have included a Spanish-style clubhouse and Olympic-sized pool on 35 acres, might sound like a bargain -- there are homes in the Los Angeles area that sell for more -- but golf courses are businesses, not typical real estate investments, because they must remain golf courses. And business has been bad lately.

It's a big comedown from the glory days.

Golf thrived so in the 1980s that it was widely believed that a new U.S. course could open every day and there still wouldn't be enough links to satisfy demand. In the 1990s came Tiger Woods, who made the world pay attention to golf as he grew to dominate the sport. The "Tiger effect," many investors assumed, would launch a youth wave of interest in the sport.



The Tiger effect really didn't happen. Just because a lot of people began to pay attention to golf, that didn't necessarily translate into people taking up the sport. I'm sure that a few tried it, but rarely did you see anyone stick with the sport once they figured out just how difficult it was.


The glory days happened because people had money and leisure time. Working for the Man nowadays means no time off, screaming brats on the weekend, and barely enough money to not pay the mortgage. The increase in the number of people wearing nametags and working for peanuts has meant that there are fewer and fewer bankers and financial services people to play golf.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Golf and a Man Bear Pig

Sign, Camp Bonifas, South Korea


Here's a story about our troops that doesn't involve horrible news and tragedy. This is exactly the sort of thing I enjoy reading about, and learning about. I'm afraid I can't do horror and screaming and what the hell is our government doing? posts all of the time. Most of the time, sure. I have brass balls in that regard. But, once in a while, I have to get off that bus and stretch my legs.


In South Korea, our troops have many, many golf courses. One, in particular, stands out:



You stand atop an elevated tee box on the first and only hole of the world's most dangerous golf course.

And you consider your chances.

This deadly little par 3 measures 192 yards but plays more like 250 in the face of the vicious winds that often blow out of North Korea across an exclusive piece of real estate called the DMZ just a few yards away.

Underneath your feet and off to the right are bunkers. The military kind. To the left, over an 18-foot-high security fence topped by concertina wire, are hazards that make high rough, deep water and dense woods seem like child's play.

Try countless unexploded mines -- the very definition of out-of-bounds. One herky-jerky backswing, one snap hook yanked out of your bag at the wrong moment and . . . ba-boom!



The soldiers would like Tiger Woods to play the course, and there's no reason why he shouldn't. It would be a great Public Relations move. I've seen some nutty things on the golf course, but this is a bit much:



Over the years, the course has developed its own mystique. Play alone here and you'll see. Weird things happen.


"You see animals," [Army Sgt. Mikel] Thurman says.

Like wild boars, Korean tigers and so-called vampire deer.

And even something weirder.

"Some guys say they've seen this thing, a man-bear-pig," Thurman says without smiling. "That's what they say."



Well, there is no man-bear-pig. There are men who don't shave, and there are men with pig faces, but unless someone has been dabbling in the realm of cloning and dogs and...and...



Research by South Korea's top human cloning scientist  [he announced in August, 2005 that his team had created the world's first cloned dog]- hailed as a breakthrough earlier this year - was fabricated, colleagues have concluded.


A Seoul National University panel said the research by world-renowned Hwang Woo-suk was "intentionally fabricated", and he would be disciplined.


Dr Hwang said he would resign, but he did not admit his research was faked.


"I sincerely apologise to the people for creating shock and disappointment," he said after the panel's announcement.


"As a symbol of apology, I step down as professor of Seoul National University."




Never mind.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Golf and Rugby Get Their Shot at the Olympics



I don't see how golf could become an Olympic sport, nor do I think rugby has enough universal appeal to make it, either:
One more reason to buy a ticket to Rio in 2016? Tiger Woods.

Rugby can start to scrum and golf can tee up after both sports were officially admitted to the 2016 Olympic program on Friday in a majority vote of the IOC membership in Copenhagen.

Golf won admission by a vote of 63-27 with one abstention. Rugby passed with a more decisive 81-8, with two abstentions. The two sports were put up to a vote after the IOC's 15-member executive committee had nominated them in August for addition to the program from a list that included squash, karate, roller sports and the re-inclusion of baseball and softball.

With the addition of golf, the Olympics, which opened its doors to the likes of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Roger Federer by liberalizing eligibility rules in recent years, will likely include Woods when the Games open in Rio seven years from now.

While rugby received strong backing across the IOC, there was some concern this week that golf would have more trouble. Golf received the fewest votes of the candidate sports when it applied for addition to the 2012 program four years ago. As rugby agreed to abandon its prestigious world cup during Olympic years, some members expressed reservations about adding golf on the theory that athletes would consider Olympic medals less prestigious than other events such as the Masters or British Open.

But the possible addition of Woods is huge gain for the Olympics. Despite the Olympics claims to champion amateurism, professional star power rules and the addition of recognized international sporting figures could encourage television networks and sponsors to spend more money on the Games.

How far will star power get you?

Golf is too much of an individual sport that cannot be measured in Olympic terms--i.e., with a clock or with a final score that decisively tells you who is best. The Olympics are about a person who trains for years to be able to shave a tenth of a second off of a killer exertion against others equally dedicated. Golf is a tremendous sport, but one day of swinging poorly and you're done. Team sports fare better, but that team sport has to have had a tradition of being played. Water polo may make you giggle, but it has more Olympic cachet than rugby ever will. Rugby could catch on, but who knows? That it wasn't already an Olympic sport tells you something.

Golf is really about consistency over an entire tour. That's sort of why we play it that way, as a season, where a golfer has weeks of being down followed by a brilliant set of rounds at a particular course. Condensing a golf tour into an Olympics stand is like a skins game--did the best player win, or did the player who was on the uptick win? What if Tiger goes to the Olympics and is out early due to a poor series of rounds? Does that mean he really isn't the best golfer there?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sorry, Golf is a Money Sport, not an Amateur Sport


-the 2002 US Open-

Golf, being the game of monetary purses and prizes, with the occasional team play thrown in, wouldn't work in the Olympics. I'm shocked that it is even being bandied about:
If golf becomes an Olympic sport on Thursday, then we would finally get to see all the best golfers in the world, as they would come together and play a special, important event.

How many lies did I tell in that sentence?

1) We already see all the best come together. In fact, 98 of the top 100 ranked golfers are in the field here, at the PGA Championship this week. 2) Most of the top players wouldn't go to the Olympics, and the field would be weak and entirely unbalanced. 3) It would not be a special event.

And that doesn't even count the one about golf being a sport.

Golf should not be in the Olympics. But on Thursday, an IOC committee is expected to announce which two sports it plans to recommend for the 2016 Olympics, leaving only a rubber-stamp vote by the full IOC in October to make it official.

Golf is expected to be selected.

"Golf is a truly global sport and I think it should have been in the Olympics a while ago," Tiger Woods said. "If it does get in, I think it would be great for golf, and especially some of the other smaller countries that are now emerging in golf."

To be certain, yes there are amateur golf events. Virtually all of our universities and colleges that haven't been forced to cut golf as a sport offer it, sometimes even with a scholarship, Title IX notwithstanding.

Golf is really the sport of the professional, not the amateur. With monetary prizes being the usual outcome, rather than mere championships, golf is separate from the amateur sports in that winning is fine, but winning for money is really the impetus for men and women to compete on grueling tours all throughout the world.

The closest analogy I can think of is horse racing. You don't see horse racing as an Olympic sport because of the cost of the horse. The golfer is like the horse--he is fickle, picky about where he sleeps, who he plays with, and where he plays. The Olympics would be something to skip in lieu of a possible win against an Olympic-depleted field in a tournament held during any Olympics.

So, no. It sounds egalitarian. It really isn't a great idea.