Same courses, though.
As good as Tiger Woods has been for golf increasing the money pouring into it and new fans (Not sure golf needs them), for me the game has gotten to a point that I usually look to the women and the Euros and other non-USA tours for the suspense of competition an more importantly the competition.
As a bit of a purist towards golf, it has been as it was during the Nicklaus heyday which I was around for (It was best the short time Arnold Palmer and Gary Player were at their peaks and also Watson and Trevino) too one-sided especially in the video media. Not that jack and Tiger weren't magnificent, they were so dominant that it became hard to appreciate the variety in golf.
This week in Hartford Cink stepped up and I think I heard something from him during or after the USGA Open about taking advantage.
Other things I hope to see
-A resurgent Els
-Sergio come to his apex without the spectre of Tiger
-Mickelson, once a great amateur with unlimited promise, dump all the gurus and just play golf. Following him around, I thought he was the "Next Nicklaus" at Cherry Hills in 1990.
-More little guys step up and take the ring.
We'll have a different tenor without the possibility of Tiger in the weekly line-up, but we'll still get the required 20 hours plus per week from the Golf Channel. I can't really blame them, he's multi-billion dollar cash cow..
American Golf has stagnated as players at every level that don't completely ignore the rules of golf and just get outside to drive the balls and the carts, but rather focus on
card and Pencil mentality I have heard it called and it's true, sometimes it's just great to play a little pasture pool or whatever you want to call just getting out and playing a quick one (wherever or whenever you can) for some exercise and a little friendship or solitude.
I constantly hear of golfers who have come back from Scotland or Ireland to the US and moan about not getting to play the "whole course". None of these folks tell me about the 68's they were embarrassed to shoot or even the 78's or sometimes not even the 88's, they bemoan that it was unfair, the greens were slow and people kept pushing them to play faster on the Old Course (especially). And they mumble something or other about being happy to be home to "real golf"
US Golf has become a bit laborious; I think the PGA playing stroke play has something to do with it and I think the handicap system which surely encourages sandbagging or reverse sandbagging (to have that "3 handicap card" in the wallet.
I think more people should just get out and play for fun, but then again, there's that $100 green fee ....
Tiger will play again, so enjoy this, the summer of your game, and maybe we'll see Sergio win in England and Els in the PGA.