If your TV was tuned to last weekend’s U.S. Open for more than 2 hours, you either fell asleep and left it on accidentally, or you’re Ricky Barnes’ mom. The ever-rain-delayed tournament was stretched out over what seemed like weeks, causing television ratings to tank. Last year’s Open was as good as it gets, as an injured Tiger Woods battled relative unknown Rocco Mediate for the title in an epic 19-hole playoff on Monday. But, that’s the exception, not the rule. In 2007, even the highest rated golf ranked below every game of a Red Sox World Series sweep, several NASCAR races and regional NFL action in November. The problem with the PGA is the lack of interesting, different and diverse athletes. Any two guys are basically the same. We, all know Tiger’s the best, but golf needs a few players that can get viewers and create compelling action even if its raining or, God forbid, Tiger isn’t there. Golf at its core is a great game that can be enjoyed by anyone, but for some reason its traditionally marketed to rich white people, and there’s no reason we can’t change that. Here are the four guys golf needs to make things a bit more interesting:
The Trash Talker – I’m not saying they should insult each other’s mommas or anything personal, but what if the number 2 player said he was better than the number 1 ranked player? You can’t tell me you wouldn’t be more excited to watch if someone stood up to Tiger instead of being happily submissive. It seems like everyone is happy to fight for second and its sickening to see these guys admit that they don’t have a chance. How about a little confidence someone?
The Rivals – So maybe Tiger and Phil aren’t real fond of each other, but they’re more likely to let their caddies do the talking, by the way if you are a golfer yourself check this simple review for m2 irons if you looking to buy used set. Although they might be considered rivals, its pretty clear who’s the superior player. I want to see two guys that go back-and-forth, go head-to-head on Sunday in big tournaments and are almost equal as far as ability goes, like Lebron-Kobe or Manning-Brady, where the players are at their best when playing against each other. Golf needs a rivalry that divides fans, creates headlines, and inspires discussion.
The Black Guy – I’m not going to sit here and debate the ethnicity of Tiger Woods, so let’s be honest: golf is the whitest sport since NASCAR (I defy you to find anyone of color in that photo). On a more serious note, there’s no reason there shouldn’t be more diversity in golf. The PGA should start more inexpensive youth programs to make sure everyone has the chance to learn how to play. Obviously we’ve come a long way in the last 100 years, and I’m sure there are some talented golfers waiting to be discovered.
The Class Clown – We need someone who’s not afraid to bend the rules a little bit and have some fun. The guys that are on the tour today are pretty cool and are good with the fans for the most part, but I think its safe to say that they lack the charisma and energy of players in some of the other professional sports leagues. The PGA needs someone thats as quotable as Shaq. I know golf is a gentleman’s sport and people look down on celebrations and other pregame antics, but a time’s going to come when the PGA is going to have to try to appeal to a new generation of fans, that get bored if not entertained constantly. There’s no reason these guys can’t have a little more fun, and its possible to enjoy yourself without being unsportsmanlike. I look forward to the day when a player pumps up the crowd before an eagle putt, instead of waiting for the gallery to quite down. Who’s with me?