Golf + The Coronavirus
March 28, 2020

5 things we unexpectedly miss about the PGA Tour

It goes without saying, but golf is secondary right now. There’s a pandemic going on. People are sick, people are dying, people are losing their jobs. This somber and strange reality makes any cheeky golf article feel a bit … silly, if we’re being honest.

It’s also true that while we can recognize and acknowledge golf is not what deserves our attention, we can simultaneously miss the PGA Tour. Those two things can coexist.

And boy, do we miss the PGA Tour. We’re still at least a month-and-a-half away from any tournament action, and that’s the absolute best-case scenario. After a few newsy weeks of postponements and trick shots and Pelotons, things have really slowed. The postponements aren’t a surprise anymore, we’ve seen all the cool trick shots and Rory McIlroy is still really good at the Peloton.

This was the first week the PGA Tour hiatus really sunk in, no WGC-Dell Match Play highlights to satisfy our golf appetite. And as is seemingly always the case when something (or someone) leaves your life, the things we miss aren’t always the things we expect to miss. Here are five not-so-obvious things that as golf fans we could really, really use in our lives right now.

1. DFS Twitter/gambling degenerates freaking out on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Ben An birdies the first hole. Ben An sticks it to 15 feet on the second hole. Ben An three putts. Twitter explodes.

If you’re at all familiar with Daily Fantasy Golf twitter, the scenario above will look rather familiar. At around 7 a.m. every Thursday, touts nationwide release their rosters for the week. And no less than three hours later, several will proclaim that their lineups have already collapsed. It’s not funny for the guys who bet significant amounts of money on this, but it’s funny for the rest of us watching.

Waste Management Phoenix Open - Round One

Waste Management Phoenix Open - Round One

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 30: Byeong-Hun An of Korea during watches on the ninth hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 30, 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Photo by: Steven Ryan

Steven Ryan

On a personal level, I’ll miss the dichotomy between my coworkers’ electric energy on Thursday mornings at the office—bright-eyed, giddy, ready for a huge payday—and their depressed countenances by lunchtime. One day, Patrick Rodgers will beat Ben An in a playoff, and the office will rejoice.

2. Golf course debates

The course is too hard! No, the course is too easy! The 10th at Riviera is a great hole! The 10th at Riviera is garbage!

One of the beauties of golf is its lack of uniformity. Every course is different, and everyone has different tastes when it comes to courses. This is true of your local muni, and it’s true of every PGA Tour venue. Invariably, every week, people have issues with the way the Tour sets up a course. It can be mind-numbing, but man, would I love to argue with some stranger on Twitter about the merits of a water hazard on the left side of some closing hole right about now.

tiger-woods-genesis-open-2019-10th-hole-tee-shot.jpg

tiger-woods-genesis-open-2019-10th-hole-tee-shot.jpg

A scenic looks at Tiger Woods teeing off on the 10th hole as fans watch during the third round of the 2019 Genesis Open.

Photo by: Keyur Khamar

Keyur Khamar

3. Tracking ShotLink to figure out how our favorite players are doing

ShotLink is awesome. It allows golf fans worldwide to follow their favorite players’ round shot-by-shot. Whenever a tournament doesn’t have ShotLink, it feels like we’re back in the Stone Age. It’s become a staple, something we depend on.

It’s fun to follow a player ripping 320-yard drives down the middle, hitting his approach to 7 feet, 6 inches and seeing “Shot 3: In the hole for birdie.” It might be even more fun to watch ShotLink try to explain how Matt Every made an 11 on a par 3.

4. Early mornings on PGA Tour Live

Because I am obsessed with golf, I follow every shot I can even when I’m not on-site at a tournament covering the event. This starts early Thursday morning with PGA Tour Live’s featured group coverage. There’s something so peaceful, so therapeutic about watching three guys navigate a course just after dawn. The fans aren’t there yet, the dew is still on the ground, the greens are pristine. It is simply the perfect background music for whatever “real” work you have to do.

5. Nosferatu’s World Ranking projections

It’s become a staple of the Sunday afternoon Golf Twitter routine. When a tournament finishes, social media goes to Official World Golf Rankings expert Nosferatu's posts of OWGR projections. The mystery man will provide a 1-25ish ranking, then give you info on how far some of the surprising top finishers that weekend will move up. The best part? If you have a specific player you’re curious about, you can simply ask him and more often than not, he answers.

He’s used and trusted by everyone—official Associated Press reports, players, you name it. He is the World Rankings guy.

Of course, the World Rankings have been paused, along with the rest of the golf world. We know that whenever golf does mercifully resume, and the first tournament is complete, Nosferatu will be right there to tell us how far Robby Shelton will climb in the OWGR for a T-3.



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