Golf for Golf’s Sake

I am not sure why many fans of golf originally gravitated towards the sport. I am confident that what ever reason brought someone over is as unique as a snowflake. In the modern day of social media, instant news, and a constant barrage of useless information, creating drama seems to be quickly becoming a method to garner interest (regardless of how fleeting) It seems that controversy sells and positive deeds are overlooked in many cases. As a person who reads and writes about about golf, I am not sure that the path fame in the golfing world is paved by constantly talking about contentious topics. Does creating drama actually draw new viewers to golf or does it turn off the people who are already tuned in?

Personally, I hate drama that is created to garner interest. I find that it offers no useful purpose in my life because it is usually baseless and not constructive. I realize that many golf reporters are trying to eek out a living by being the first and fastest to report on golf related issues and I can live with that for the most part. However, there are some topics that offer no value to the fan watching or reading about golf. The most recent event is Patrick Reed’s ball being stuck in the tree in Dubai a couple of weeks ago. He received a drop by the rules officials and yet the news tried to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

This whole incident can best be summed up by Rory McIlroy (Reed’s playing partner at the time) in a Sports Illustrated article: “Had it been anyone else in the field it would have been a non-issue, but because of certain things in the past, people brought some stuff up, which is maybe unfair in some ways,” My example is about needless drama because Reid had to put out ‘final statement’ on the matter. The whole affair, in my opinion, was blown out of proportion and needless drama was created as a result of a nothing issue.

As pointed out by some respondents of the following poll, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman created a great deal of ‘drama’ because they bucking the establishment. Jack was disliked by Arnie’s Army because he was challenging the then current star of golf. Greg Norman was a not from the traditional places of golf and as such was disliked. In these cases, I would not say that needless drama was created, but fierce competition where golfing fans picked sides. This type of interaction is actually good for golf because healthy competition is always a good thing for a sport.

Recently, I asked the following:

Most golfing fans agree that creating controversy or drama to increase interest in golf is not required. I fall into that category for sure. I love golf because of the individual nature of the sport. Yes there is intense competition and rivalries that spark some drama from time to time and that is a good thing. However, creating click bait controversies does not help the sport of golf, nor does it bring new viewership because it is fleeting. What garners more interest and viewers is stiff competition on the links where great athletes duke it out until the last hole is played on Sunday afternoon!

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

2 thoughts on “Golf for Golf’s Sake

  1. Jim, you make some great points. Like a lot of news items, so much is made of the negatives and golf reporting has seemed to follow that narrative. And in any drama, the script usually has villains and heroes.

    I am not a fan of Patrick Reed, but the coverage goes way too far. I am increasingly choosing to tune out the media and most of the Golf Channel talking heads.

    In my opinion, golf does not need this. My experiences on the golf course are overwhelmingly positive and I find the current climate in reporting and social media looking for click bait and golf is not immune. Unfortunately golf as a business largely hogs the stage versus golf the game which we love.

    The Grateful Golfer and my other favourite sites are refreshing in being balanced and friendly. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

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