Well friends now that the Woods-Williams feud has been turned into a complete circus (thanks media), it's time once again to SCREW THEM ALL
. For this golf fan at least. That's right screw them all. Go out and enjoy golf on your own terms. Let your own golf game be your favorite. What these people, the media and the would-be golf stars want is attention and we ought to do our best not to give it to them.
The world of golf has sadly, like other pro sports before it, devolved into little more than cult of personality. Pro golf these days is all Twitter, belt buckles, and who's talking shit. Adam Scott changed coaches late last year and made a serious run at the Masters long before Steve Williams picked up his golf bag but the media won't tell you that in the wake of his latest big win because that's a boring story.
Sport for sport's sake is old hat these days. If you don't have flair or a big mouth the media has little time for you no matter how good your game is. Case in point, that Italian kid Manassero, who at 18 has won twice on the European Tour but gets nary a mention because the media is too busy talking up how soon Rickie is going to win, or how brash and outspoken Rory is or what a rock star Ryo is in Japan. Manassero might have more talent than all these guys but we would never know it because the media again, is more interested in stars than winners.
(By the way is anyone else tired of this term? Jimmy Page is a "rock star". If you play golf for a living, or cook food or sell real estate for a living, I don't care how awesome you are at it, you are not "rock star". David Bowie is a rock star, Anothony Kim, I don't think so.)
See Ben Crane is not a golfer that I like but he sure is savvy. He figured out that in these times, good golf alone does not make one a popular player. You need more than Twitter even. You need a schtick, and boy did he come up with one. Now he is the the PGA Tour's resident funny man. Pretty impressive considering what a retarded comic sensibility he has to work with. Johnny Miller is another one. He figured out that controversy sells, and that he can be the star of the show too.
The media is so glad that Martin Kaymer's world-beating form did not last, because they don't know how to tell the story of Martin Kaymer. Lee Westwood's boring but at least he has a colorful manager called "Chubby" whose exploits give the media something to chew on. Thank God.
My secret wish for pro golf is that someone like Andres Romero, mysterious dark-skinned foreigner who doesn't speak English would up and do something amazing like win the Grand Slam and send the golf media into complete disarray and disorientation. Basically do what Yani Tseng is doing to women's golf. (Typical media comment: "Yani Tseng is a supremely talented player and deserves to be #1, but does she really have what it takes to be a global golf superstar?) My point is that the media does not know how to tell the story of this sport and tell it straight.
I think it started when Tiger hit the scene and played with such dominating excellence and the media started with the hero worship. His exploits and story were so compelling that there was little onus on the media to present the story of golf with any objectivity or integrity. It became all about a cult of personality. Now that Tiger has fallen from grace the same cultish behavior continues, only now its the ugly mean side of it. Because they still have these outsized expectations about golf's audience and revenue size to meet somehow.
Call me old-fashioned but I believe sport should still be a meritocracy. Let the TMZ/Jersey Shore/American Idol mainstream culture be the place where the squeakiest wheel gets the grease. When I tune into a golf tourney, I want to see players grinding out a score for the love of the game. I don't want to hear about what so and so says on Twitter. If I want that, I'll go to Twitter and read it myself.
Thank God the reason we all love golf is because we can play golf. We should let ourselves be wholly consumed by the drama of our own pursuit of birdies, pars, and yes bogeys too. That is purity folks, that is what the game is about. All this constant chatter about caddie/coach feuds, knee injuries, xenophobes named Bubba, etc, etc is cheap and tawdry by comparison.