The Loop

The Tour's Excitement Factor

__*"Men's pro golf is dead. Not literally and certainly not economically, but as a competitive organism, 2008 has shown few signs of life in terms of creating drama or energizing the big-picture landscape." *John Hawkins


Marty Walker of Roswell, Georgia, read John Hawkins' Angry Golfer column in Golf World's May 2 issue, "Where has all the excitement gone?" and wrote an essay of his own--a thoughtful, well-argued counterpoint that I quote from here. Click below to read the entire piece.

Sure, the job of the media is to present opinions and perspective as much as factual recording of events. In the modern sports era however, we all know the former has replaced the latter, and for many of us that's a shame. Maybe it's old school, but today we feel the non-sport side of sports has more often overshadowed the actions on the field, and I seriously doubt many would say that's been an improvement in sports. Truth be told, it's no more than a reflection of the expansion of coverage, from ESPN to all the network sports to yes, even the Golf Channel. It used to be about the games, the tournaments, the players actions; wins and losses, champions and up and comers. Today, it's about their attitude, their lifestyle, their failures (professional or personal), their sound bites; whatever it takes to fill an overload of too much space and time....

Walker acknowledges that "Golf is different. It's slow", but argues fervently against Hawkins position that "A bunch of players have the skill--only one has the attitude."

The idea that Tiger is the only one with a winning attitude shows ignorance, plain and simple. More so, probably underscores people who, as in many other sports, have never played at any level where true competition is experienced. These are the world's best players; players who have beaten the crap out of others all their lives, until they ran into this guy. Yes, some have folded, or at least displayed it, questioning their drive or attitude to be the best they can....But what about Garcia, Kim, Sabatini; they make natural competitive comments and put themselves on the block as a result. We should love those attitudes; welcome them, but instead we get our lame media blasting them when they fall short.

. Walker says there is nothing wrong with this season; Hawkins' melancholy is misplaced. > >

Personally, I like the atmosphere of this year. There are clear signs that there are young guns poised to make a mark and take on Tiger. Does that mean they will dethrone Tiger? Hell no; this man is special; he's history in the making, and we should relish being in the moment. Just like MJ, he will not be matched for a long time, if ever. That doesn't mean the game has lost excitement, unless you don't know much past the obvious. There's the challenge; will we have a sport's media that can get past the star-struck status and start appreciating the progress made in the sport's new generation Tiger has birthed? I certainly hope so.

Well said.

--Bob Carney

For Marty's entire essay.....