Editors' Blog
September 29, 2008

Is the PGA Tour spoiled?

There has been a great deal of discussion around the office and among friends about Jaime Diaz's Golf World column earlier this month about golf's sabbatical from Tiger and the lessons it's taught us. One of Diaz's takeaway was that the players of the PGA Tour could do better for their fans:

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...the PGA Tour has gotten so black-out drunk with money it has largely forgotten the achievements of Arnold Palmer. Palmer's warmth and accessibility single-handedly thawed the Ice Age of Hogan and set golf on a treasure trail. Jack Nicklaus did his best to follow the example to further enrich the rewards, and soon the financial urgency was gone. During the last 25 years, it has been my observation that the world's best players generally have grown less attuned to the fans, sponsors and media.Bravo to Jaime Diaz (Opinion Sept 5th). Someone has finally put it all in its proper perspective. No, you are not going to get us off of the golf course to watch a bunch of stuck up tour players who think they're doing us a favor allowing us to watch them play.

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Among players Jaime named were Tour Championship winner Camillo Villegas, who said in Boston this month: "If you guys would let me go, I could get another workout in," a sentence, Diaz wrote, that the tour doesn't need. He also attributed to Tiger much of the distance that exists between the media and the players today:

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Much is asked of Woods, a lot of it unfair. But it would be good if during his break he resolved in the second half of his career to be more like Palmer.

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Jaime's views struck a chord with readers, pro and con. Rob Carpenter of Roselle Park, NJ, loved what Diaz had to say.

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Bravo to Jaime Diaz. Someone has finally put it all in its proper perspective. No, you are not going to get us off of the golf course to watch a bunch of stuck-up tour players who think they're doing us a favor allowing us to watch them play. And yes, the game desperately needs more Palmers, Mediates and Mickelsons. I attended my first LPGA event (along with my 9 year old daughter) this year--the Sybase Classic--and the women were great. They made us feel like they wanted us to be there. The PGA Tour could use a lesson in public relations from the LPGA and Champions tours.

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But Denver reader Ozzie Carlson was having none of it--especially those comments about Tiger:

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Possibly you should consider the fact that too many of you sport writers are jerks. Fifty years ago, my brother, Joe Carlson, and I were allegedly the first brothers to start against each other in the Big Ten in basketball. He played for Ohio State and I played for the University of Minnesota. An article appeared in the Minneapolis Star newspaper (then the St. Paul Star). It was a Socratic dialogue between the writer and me, four columns long. However, the dialogue never took place. It was all made up by the writer. >

It seems that Golf World writers continue to look for ways to criticize Tiger. Forget his golf accomplishments. Here you have a young man, far beyond his years in maturity, who is contributing to our society and presenting a model image that any parent would want their child to emulate. And yet, other than Bob Verdi, you Golf World writers try to find some way to denigrate Tiger. Pathetic.>

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Jaime has probably done more than anyone on the staff to bring Tiger, his swing, his work ethic, his point of view, and his career, to life for Golf World and Golf Digest readers. Coming from him, the challenge to Tiger to be more like Arnold is significant, whether you agree with it or not.

--Bob Carney