Monday, March 15, 2010

What is Golf to You?

Well, Tiger's coming back (Finally) and I think I am glad as we have to get over it and get on with our unimportant lives. I've no love for Tiger, but I really thought about it and I really don't have much love for professional golf as a spectator sport as most people see it. IFriday, I was sitting there watching Doral on the Tivo about 45 mins. behind TGC's afternoon broadcast, enjoying watching Els who happened to be leading. More on that in a bit...

Mike and Mike this morning had hard-ons about Tiger returning and how it is good for golf and everyone will forget everything after 9 holes of Tiger golf. One "True Golf Fan" had written in and said some sentiments about how golf is better without Tiger and of course he meant Professional Golf but the ESPN boys were right about the casual golf fan coming back and boosting ratings and making everyone money and all that shit. (I really am curious to see how the women feel a year from now, I think these sports guys are wrong about them and how much women do watch golf and how many hard core "True golf fans" are actually women who don't say much. Dick's catalogue for spring had nary a single TW anywhere on their Nike gear.) Me, I know enough guys who've played pros and won and won majors, so I know what good really is so I don't need to watch pro golf for that reason. There's not much architecture on TV unless you watch the inters and the oddball spots the Euros occasionally play but week-in week-out if Tiger's not around, if you like the team or an announcer in particular, golf is pretty low key and relaxing to watch, especially in Hi-Def.

Pro golf as a business has no relevance for me, but I do enjoy my own tournament golf and the few more years I have left to try and get a little better as I get further away from 55, the last age of relevance in men's golf. Plus I played one day last week near home for the first time in 90 + days, the longest ever not due to injury/surgery/both.

I love my architecture, my books, playing, seeing new courses and I gave a little thought to how I might divvy up 100 points as to "What golf means to me". So much for architecture, playing new courses, just playing, being outdoors, travel, etc. I haven't done it yet, I will. Little will go for watching pro golf save a few tourneys which always for me as a SoFla golfer includes Doral, but I do know I watch pro golf to see the players I want to see because they are my size - like E Els and I use him to visualize when I swing.

So after a few days I get(But ... I may change my mind again):

* Exercise for an old fart 15%
* Zen/Psychiatry 15%
* Play Tournaments (This has increased for me a lot, I play totally differently) 10%
* Play solo or with one or two really special people 10%
* Play with others 1%
* Play New Courses for me*20%
* History 10%
* Literature 4%
* Opportunity/Excuse for Travel 10%
* Pro Tournament Golf 5% - 4.99% to watch a course I like, player I like, <0.01% just watch

For example, because of who I am, where I come from, my basic body type - I watched almost every minute of this past weekend's Doral event. Great course? No, but I learnt in SoFla and can almost smell the grass from the TV. Ernie Els is probably my favorite player to watch of the last 20 years and parenthetically, I like his swing changes this year vs. last couple. That he was on a lot made all the difference in the world. When Kennemer is on later this year, will watch a lot, same for TOC; Pebble, by itself, with none of hte other factors? No, likely not. (Yes, I do know how much of an outlier I am.)

I got to play with really world-class players early in my life so I really am not impressed by Professional Golfers and am not much of a Hero-Worshiper. I was once a good athlete, so I know what physical talent is and Bio-mechanics has been a big part of my professional life.

*Look at/analyse Architecture/Greens & their integration - I really like being outside in a natural setting enhanced by man's cleverness, that's why I like different courses so much.

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