No One Player Dominates Golf

No-one will ever have golf under his thumb. No round ever will be so good it could not have been better. Perhaps this is why golf is the greatest of games. You are not playing a human adversary; you are playing a game. You are playing old man par. – Bobby Jones

After watching JT collapse on the last round of the Genesis Open, Bobby Jones’ words echo loud and clear. Golf is a peculiar sport where on any given day any player could rise to the top of the leaderboard. It is one of the its best and worst features.

At one time, the professional golf landscape focused on 10 core players. These elite players would enthrall the golfing world and were expected to win day in and day out. However, around 2010 and the decline of Tiger Woods due to injury (excluding 2012 and 2013), the culture surrounding the PGA Tour started to change.

It was a gradual shift where the top 10 players in the world are in the mix most weeks, but it is no longer a given that they will win. The competition from first time players, journeyman and rising stars is relentless. If you do not play your best when leading on Sunday, there is no cruising to victory. Unfortunately, JTs +5 yesterday proves that.

JB Holmes played steady golf and overcame a 6 shot deficit to carve out a victory. In the past, there would be no way that a player ranked 100 in the world would have accomplished this feat. It would have been unheard of for a journeyman like Holmes to stand in the winners circle being down 6 during the last round.

However, the landscape of golf has changed. There are no guarantees anymore. Tiger was the last great player who demonstrated a longevity to win. He dominated for so long that many pundits forgot that there were other great players in the mix. Now, picking a winner each week is virtually impossible. There always seems to be a new name at or near the top of the leaderboard. Personally, I like the culture shift and look forward to seeing what happens next week.

Do you think the culture of winning on the PGA Tour is changing?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “No One Player Dominates Golf

  1. Jim,

    I’m glad you brought up this discussion…I just think it depends on the tournament/field. Let’s use the WGC events, more times than not the winner will come from the top 20 in the world.
    If you use a tournament like the Valspar, then yes I give the JB Holmes’s of the world a great chance to win as the field is not as strong.

    I doubt anyone will be as dominate as Tiger was back in the day, and I kind of like it that way.

    Sebastien

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    • Sebastien

      I agree that no one will dominate golf like Tiger ever again. However, I would suggest that a quick win streak drives a players world rankings up pretty fast and they crack the top 20. Many great players in the top 50 and most events, even the Majors, are wide open now in my opinion. It is fun to watch as along as they play quicker.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, I think everyone still wants to win on tour so I’m not sure if you’d describe what has happened as a cultural change of winning. Certainly more people think they can win on any given day, now that Tiger isn’t dominating. And I would definitely say that nobody is intimidated by him any more (that’s the big change).
    I too enjoy the wide open race every weekend. It helps the sport when a long shot wins one on occasion.
    Thanks!
    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      I see your point, however if every one things they can win, then this is a culture change in my mind. I agree with you that the younfer players are mentally stronger and less intimidated by the rest of the field. It is definitely fun to watch!

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the quote from Bobby, but have to respectfully disagree a little bit about the Tour. Long before J.B. Holmes there were the Rich Beams, Todd Hamiltons and Ben Curtis’ of the golf world, even in Tiger’s prime. I think when no-name golfers win, people tend to forget about their wins quickly and so years later it seems as though long-shots never win. They do, however, and always have.
    I wholeheartedly agree with the fickle nature of the game of golf, however, just take a look at Spieth’s scores this week. He certainly doesn’t have golf under his thumb the way he once did.
    I think there is a good lesson there to be learned within our own local group of golf buddies. Just because someone shoots better than normal doesn’t mean they’ve mastered the game. Just because they shoot worse than normal, it doesn’t mean they forgot how to play. The game goes in cycles and tends to revolve around touch and feel, as opposed to finding the perfect swing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JJ

      Great to hear from you. I see your points and concede some of your view. The perception is that the top players, to me anyway, are not quite as dominate as in years past. On any given week, there is enough talent in the field that leaves winning wide open. I find this fun to watch.

      I do agree with your view that one roind does not alter a players ability to play! I would use Tiger as an example. His multiple comebacks saw the golfing world go crazy with expectation every time he teed it up, only to injure himself again. He seems back now and the expectstion game is through the roof, but he seems mortal compared to his previous avilities. Still fun to watch.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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