There is a lot to like about pro golf – money raised for worthy charities; players who constantly amaze. Amateurs can learn a lot just by watching every weekend. But pro golf is not perfect. Here are a few things I’d like to see go the way of metal spikes.
1 Logo Madness
Where is it written that a Tour player’s clothing has to be plastered with garish logos? Pro golf has gotten worse than NASCAR. Did you see Lee Westwood at the Open Championship? There were at least seven different company logos on his shirt and hat. I have no problem with capitalism, but with John Daly painted up like a NASCAR driver and Westwood’s sponsor-madness, I can’t help but wonder where the sport is headed. Curses on the Amana company for starting this annoying trend.
2 Not-So-Worldly Championships
When it was Greg Norman’s idea, the concept called for world golf events to be played, like, all over the world. When the Tour stole it, the definition of “world” pretty much shrank to the land between Long Island and Los Angeles. Small world, indeed.
3 Corporate Suites
Corporate sponsors help bring the Tour to town and generate charity money, but why do they have to grab all the best real estate? You can’t find a decent vantage point on any 18th hole anymore.
4 World Golf Rankings
Whoever decided the PGA Tour money list wasn’t a good enough measure of a player’s performance? Win one event, and you move up the WGR list faster than John Daly moves at last call. Case in point, the current World No. 3: somebody named Paul Casey.
5 As In 5-Hour Rounds In Twosomes
Come on. What kind of example does this set for the 18-handicapper who feels compelled to mimic the pros seen on television? Five-hour rounds are great for television coverage (more time for commercials) but are killing Saturday mornings at the club.
6 Champions Tour
Everybody loves seeing the stars of yesteryear tee it up. But don’t you think that more than five players should qualify to play on the Champions Tour via Q School? Talk about a private club.
7 The FedEx Cup
Golf doesn’t need a Super Bowl. Or a World Series. Or any kind of grand finale. Golf has four majors that work perfectly well. If the Tour wants a nice way to wind up the year, have the pros play a member-guest with a nice big Calcutta. Then make way for Freddie and the Silly Season.
8 Rules Officials
I love it every time a rules official is called to make an on-course decision. Love their double chins, love their navy blue blazers. But why don’t pro golfers know the rules? How hard is it to take a drop?
9 The Art of Saying Nothing
Tiger has this down to a science as do most of the top-flight pros (and top players in any professional sport). And who can blame them? With the media waiting to pounce on any little slip up, why should they stick their necks out, even though the fans would really love to know what they’re thinking.
10 Perfect Conditions
The courses the pros play are groomed to within an inch of their lives, causing viewers at home to want the same. Pro golf would be a lot more interesting if the pros had to play the kind of courses we play. Winter rules in mid-July?