Here it is the week of the 2006 Masters, Lefty is kicking butt, Tiger is lying back strategizing, Ernie is doing what Ernie does and the rest of the field, well they are wondering if they can hit the fairways that look like the edge of a razor blade laying between two rows of towering Georgia pines. What a great time of year. For golfers, the Masters is the major of the major of golf events. The Masters is where the professionals are hitting their strides of great golf and the amateurs get their first look of what they will have to conqueror if they turn professional.
Unfortunately, the Masters is the time of year when Golf is brought into the mainstream of the public’s attention. Which brings out the people I call the Target Shooters. They see something they do not understand, so it becomes the target they shoot at with ridicule based on ignorance.
Every few days I have to deal with the cesspool of negative attitudes that boil up towards golf. And it seems each year around the Masters is when the lid is blown off the septic tank full of people who are down on golf but have never even played, been to an event or even to a golf course for any reason. Maybe listening to what they have to say with any interest would be easier to do if their remarks were based on any possibility of it being based on fact.
Since I am in a golf related business and on the cutting edge of promoting golf to businesses who want to use golf as a business tool, I am contently getting unfounded remarks shot at me all of the time. Most of them are vain attempts to disavow golf as being a business tool, but if the true be known the remarks are out of jealousy from team sports fans, who for some reason, thing that if you are not stuck in an arena or motor speedway track with tens of thousands other people who like moshing together you are not partaking in a viable sport.
Even through all of these slings and arrows, I try to provide them with explanation on what golf is all about. Most of the time, to no avail. Here is what I have to deal with…
These non-golfing men and women say Golf is boring; doesn’t allow people to express their emotions and show support to their favorite players; is nothing but a group of rich kids being pampered; and is for people who can’t deal with the real world.
Well…Friend….. the 40 million golfers in this country and 100 million world-wide would have to differ with you.
Have you ever heard of the Ryder Cup? No, this doesn’t have anything to do with what you put your beer in while driving a Ryder Truck. It is a team event similar to the basketball, football, baseball and NASCAR Pit Crew teams. But it is without the elbow throwing, cutback blocking, fiery car hurling through the air activities declared by the Bubba’s of the world as a sport and entertainment. (No offense to Bubba Watson) It’s not to say that there is not any moshing going on at the Ryder Cup. The last few years the
America galleries of fans have been, well, more Bubba Like… but none the less, the Ryder Cup is the All Star team event of golf.
As far as the remarks of golf being uninteresting and not allowing fan’s to express their emotions….You must have never been to the 16th hole on the TPC at the FBR (or as I still like to call it, Phoenix Open). Though it was calmer this year, this one golf hole still holds the record for the largest crowd per hole, 75,000 people, and the highest decibel noise level from a crowd of hollering fans in all sports. The super bowl does not even come close to this one 245 yard long hole that is less than the size of a baseball field. No matter if it is Tiger or the player who is 250th in the world, these fans stand perfectly quiet and then at the sound of the ball being struck erupt into an earth shattering roar so loud and directed to one spot that you could no hear a 747 if it flew 50ft over their heads. And you do not want to have your ears uncovered if by chance someone makes a Hole-in-one., which has happened once or twice.
Now, for golf being a sport for a bunch of rich kids, I don’t think it is anywhere as bad as baseball, football and basketball, with those ‘pay for no play’ contracts. There are some kids on the PGA and LPGA tours who are living out of their cars just to live the dream of playing on the PGA or LPGA tour. And they have to be placed in the top ten of an event to get any chance of getting paid… There are not any rich kids in this situation..
As far as golf being for people who can’t deal with the real world, well, golf can’t be everything to everyone so I guess you got me there…but if feeling good about myself, feeling good about treating other people with respect and being honest to both, while walking down a manicured lawn dressed in my Sunday best is not being able to deal with the real world, Then leave me to my dream and you to your 1981 motor home parked at the motor speedway infield.
Yes, Golf has all for all, but only for those who understand. I am not sure why golf is attacked as much as it is. My answer is, I am glad that not everyone is interested in golf and especially people who have never played, gone to or taken the time to learn what golf is all about. I would hate to get that crowd mixed in with the club throwing slow playing crowd that is already out there. Or maybe they already have mixed.
So, each to their own.
But, let’s leave it with this…
Golf is not only the best sport played, but it is the only sport that can be played for a lifetime. I don’t think you will ever see anyone in their 70’s or 80’s suiting up for any of the ball sports and though they probably can make it around the track, you will not see any grandpa’s taken turn three at 200 mph… But you will see everyone one of them with a golf club in their hand and a smile on their face as they play the game of a lifetime…
Come on, enjoy one of life’s joys and one of golf’s best events, The Master, and if after you have attempted to enjoy playing golf and gone to a golf tournament like the Masters and you still don’t like it, I will accept all criticism you can deal out. But there is one thing you cannot argue after experiencing golf is that, Golf: There is No Other Sport Like It…
Scot Duke President
Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.
‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com