What Standard is the Golf Fanbase in Today?

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been the face of golf for the last 15 years.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been the faces of golf for the last 15 years.

Golf is one of the world’s oldest sports. It’s been a symbol of greatness, royalty and full of rich history. We’ve seen some of the best players in the world play this great sport on all levels from high school to amateur to the PGA Tour. Although this sport is ancient and has survived for many many years, do we need to start questioning the golf fanbase? Although there are many dedicated hardcore golf fans out there, there are still quite a few who seem to only watch golf when a Tiger Woods or a Phil Mickelson plays and are both playing well.

That’s quite a lot to ask for considering those are two golfers out of many golfers that play in tournaments and they both will not always be towards the top. Rory Mcilroy is another one but, on the PGA Tour has been relatively quiet lately despite his European Tour win this year. If those three guys are towards the top of the leaderboard, everyone watches. But how many times out of 10 will we see Tiger, Phil and Rory at the top at the same time? Not often. Some people believe that if Tiger is winning every tournament and dominating the field, it’s very entertaining but when another player comes into a tournament and dominates then people think it’s boring and everyone rolls their eyes.

Why has it come to this? Why do we need that one big player to catch our attention? Because we have to realize that Tiger and Phil won’t always be towards the top every time. Is it because of some of the shots they hit? We’ve seen many players hit some impressive shots over the years though. Bubba Watson always seems to hit some amazing shots, Rory was hitting some great shots when he was on top, and Martin Kaymer at the U.S. Open hit some impressive shots and putts. How can we forget Bubba’s outstanding recovery shot at the 2012 Masters? Or Martin Kaymer’s unbelievable putt at this year’s Players Championship on the world-renowned 17th hole? During the 2010 Masters, the one that Phil won, Anthony’s Kim’s performance gave me chills and could have pulled it off.

Although I was happy for Phil, I thought Anthony’s performance was outstanding and being as young as he was at the time made it more impressive. Similar thing with Jordan Spieth at this year’s Masters. He played terrific golf but Bubba knew Augusta too well and pulled off the victory for his second Masters victory. That was some amazing drama until Bubba finally started to pull away a bit. When Martin Kaymer pulled away from the field at the U.S. Open, he put on one of the most dominant performances in U.S. Open history, but nobody cared. They wished that Martin’s clothes were changed to Tiger’s signature Sunday red shirt and Phil’s trademark KPMG hat.

They didn’t want to see the same dude with the white shirt and the Sap hat. On the women’s tour, last year, Inbee Park had one of the most dominant seasons in golf history. It was one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in my sports life. Nobody really cared though. They all wanted to see Tiger and Phil on the men’s tour. Even if Inbee’s performance did catch major attention, it took an unbelievable performance like that to do so. If Tiger or Phil win a regular tournament, everyone goes nuts.

Peter Kostis said it best in this tweet:

As much as we should appreciate what Tiger and Phil have brought to the sport, we need to look and pay attention to what the other great players are doing. Because if we feel that Tiger and Phil are above the sport then what’s the point of the hundreds of other players on tour? Just get rid of all of the players and let Tiger, Phil and Rory duke it out at every single tournament and change it to the TPR Tour (Tiger, Phil, Rory Tour). We always seem to want the next big thing, not just in golf or other sports, but in life. However, some don’t want to see the next big thing in golf. They just want it to be the Tiger and Phil show. Now that Tiger and Phil are slowly coming down the home stretch of their careers, we wonder who will follow in their footsteps. Rory was supposed to be that guy and still very well could be. However, we can’t think like this.

It’s great when there’s a player on tour that’s playing very well and dominating but when another player comes out to win a tournament, I feel they deserve respect, no matter who they are. No matter if they aren’t the big names that we want them to be. It should be exciting to see different players win because you never know if those players will come out and start dominating themselves and it adds to the conversation. I mean, wouldn’t it be boring if we just talked about Tiger and Phil all day? Look at Brendan Todd for example. He won the HP Byron Nelson tournament and he played well after that as it seemed he was always towards the top of the leaderboard.

He also played well at his first U.S. Open and there’s no doubt he could be in contention again in coming tournaments. So why is it like this? Why do we need that one big star to show up and play to keep our interests in the sport? I personally think it’s a shame. There are too many great players that we’re passing up on because we’re looking at the same guys. It’s the same song over and over again. We’ve seen some historic golf performances this year and last year but nobody really paid attention and missed out on some spectacular golf.

It’s awesome to appreciate greatness but the field of players we see today are some of the best we’ve seen in years yet we always come back to the same song and put it on repeat. The Tiger and Phil song. You want the next big thing? Well, they’re all right in front of us, we just have to take advantage of what we’re witnessing.

I’d love to hear your comments on this topic. I’m always listening! Also, hit me up on Twitter because I have things to do post about things that involve things and stuff: @ChiGolfRadio

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Colin GP Mieczkowski

Colin Mieczkowski is the Editor-in-chief of the award winning GP Golf Report. He hails from Chicago,IL and is a big Chicago sports fan (Except the Cubs, sorry. Chi Sox baby). His writing journey began when he used to write in his notebook and write free verse poems. Later, he created a blog that covered Chicago sports, golf and video games (Weird combination) but decided to just focus on his main passion of golf. That's when the GP Golf Report was born and since its humble beginnings, the blog has reached well over 100,000 unique visitors and continues to grow. He also has built a love for golf course design and is a lover of "Street Golf" which is practically how he picked up the game. Colin is also a video game YouTuber as well. He goes by the name "GhostPanda" on there. You can click the YouTube symbol to check him out. Follow him on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio and add him as a friend on Facebook!
Coach Ahrns
Coach Ahrns

This is a very nice article and so on point. To raise another point for one to consider. I have the opportunity to work with a youth group young people from YMCA ages 11-18 I am a coach with The Fist Tee and we provide a program Mentors Matter and golf is a sport one of the opportunities for exposure we offer to this group of young people. Out of the group of 30 young people 100 % know whomTiger Woods is but 80% have never seen him play golf ! When I point out that The President of the United States plays golf . The youth had no idea he played. I have

Coach Ahrns
Coach Ahrns

So when we think about what is needed to "grow the game" it is a much bigger task then we might think. Tiger should play as often as possible he would be doing all of the golfers

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