Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Is T-Woody Global Golf?
Are Pigs Taking to the Sky?
Should I be Concerned?

I just read this article that was posted on the Golf Channel’s web site. In it, this guy, who is strangely named Associated Press, makes several poignant and valid remarks. The whole gist of the piece is that professional Golfers, Domestics and Imports, need to travel abroad in order to promote the game of golf on a global scale.

Mr. Press also points out that there are some players who currently reside on the PGA Tour roster, who have already “Paid their Dues” and traveled world class style in order to get their playing time in and build up their resumes. This is all fine and heart warming.

"I'm sure the world golf population would like to see more guys travel, but as long as one guy travels, that's all we need. Golf around the world is Tiger Woods." As quoted by Thomas Bjorn.


First of all, Tiger Woods is not “Golf around the world”. He’s a good player, he can be exciting to watch, he sure as hell has the money to play around the world, but there is a plethora of other players I’d rather watch play golf and I hope you all feel the same too.

I don’t see T-Woody as the ideal definition of American Golf Ambassador. And I pray to the golf gods themselves that Mr. Woods doesn’t think so either. No one man or woman (I try not to discriminate) can carry that honor or burden, depending on how you want to look at the situation at hand.

The International players of today have the fortitude to create some serious quakes on a global scale in the coming years. Even more so than what they are currently putting out. This is mostly because these guys and ladies (I try not to discriminate) get their asses out of their hemispheres and play Golf. They’re Golfers damnit! That’s what they’re supposed to do anyway. Right? These globe trotting travelers are playing in different climates, different altitudes, they’re playing on all types of course layouts and getting a hell of a lot of competitive golf under their belts in the process.

In decades past, before airline travel was a means of habitual transportation, professional golfers, and their wives usually, drove to Golf tournaments. Yes, they would actually drive themselves. Fifty, sixty years ago, players didn’t have big huge paydays or ridiculously exaggerated endorsement deals like they have today. After hours of driving, these players of the Golden Era grinded it out every week in tournament play. Now, I know J.D. and D. Love III have the motor coaches which equate to the same amount of money as Peru’s Gross Domestic Product, but that’s not my point.

My point is, I think the true essence of competitive Golf is falling off of the American players’ radar. Some players can be so hung up on the dollars it’s ridiculous. The PGA Tour offers some monstrously sized purses compared to the EU, Asian or the Australasian tours. With the new impending shorter season format slated for 2007, the Tour is going to be throwing even more money at the “situation”. Which, in turn, does open up more dates for players to travel abroad, but will they?

In any event, thanks to Mr. Associated Press, that’s how I see it. Sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

As for the rest of you, please let me know if I sound like an ass. (Just curious)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to examining Christie Kerr and her miraculous trophy. What a prize! That thing’s mounted on her mantle for sure.


At 2:33 PM, Blogger Robert Thompson said...

You know, Doug Ferguson, the AP writer who penned this story, is right -- Tiger is "golf" to many, including Bjorn apparently.
The reality is that I see both sides of this -- the PGA Tour needs to get more of its players playing more often at some of its lesser tour spots, but the game overall benefits from having its biggest and brightest out in places like Korea, China and Germany. Woods may be very,very well paid to travel to these spots, but he also improves the exposure of the game.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger The Undaunted Duffer said...

I feel you dog. I know there is a small niche of Golf spectators that like to watch Tiger Woods play golf all across the globe. That’s great, I enjoy watching him from time to time myself. He’s one of the greatest golfers to play the game. But he’s not the only golfer. He’s certainly not the only American golfer, that’s for sure.

As of right now, 12-28-2005, there are 20 professional golfers from the USA in the top 50 in the world. If our American players don’t start playing more overseas, I have a feeling that our number 20 will drop down to the neighborhood of 12-15 by the middle of the 2007 season.

European golfers, Asian golfer and Australian golfers have a better feel for competition, they’re grinders. That’s not to say that our dough boys don’t have what it takes, it’s just that across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the pool of talent is deeper.

That’s all I want, more American Face across the globe equals more experience.

I also think the Nationwide Tour and European Challenge Tour should have some joint tournaments as well.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Miranda said...

I agree that Tiger Woods is not the only golfer. And that there are plenty of other really good golfers out there to watch. I also think American golfers should play outside of America. I would think they would want to play some courses they haven't seen before. I would love to see courses I haven't seen before. Hopefully, I will now that I have the Golf Channel to watch. Bjorn might say that Tiger is Golf Around the World, but if you take a look at the European tour, you'll see John Daly's name up there. Not Tiger's.

And that idea about the Nationwide and Challenge Tours competing against each other sounds really cool. I'd watch.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Luke Swilor said...

Hey Duffer, thanks for the link (I'll reciprocate).

I must still be in the "Golden Era" because I still drive to every tournament. I haven't been on an airplane since college golf (we flew to every tournament, 12 a year). I put 40,000 on the car last year, and I AM GRINDING for every penny, every week that I can find a place to play.

I want to be on the PGA Tour, but it wouldn't be too bad to be on the European Tour and get to travel all over the world. If I was on the tour, I'd be playing as much as I possibly could, wherever I could.

Thanks Again -Luke


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