The Loop

Who do today's youth want to see win the Masters? The answer may (or may not) surprise you

April 04, 2018
The Masters - Par 3 Contest

Kevin C. Cox

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Because golfers under age 10 for the most part stay off Twitter, and Las Vegas sports books presumably aren’t exploiting the sentiments of underage gamblers, it’s hard to know where our children’s allegiances lie for the 2018 Masters. To find out, Golf Digest asked TGA Premier Junior Golf, a franchise-model company that operates golf-based curriculums within elementary schools and community centers, to run a simple poll.

Despite spring break and a few other complications, TGA coaches across the country were able to ask 404 children, ages 5-9, the obvious question: “Who do you want to win this year’s Masters?” Here are the results:

Bubba Watson, 2 votes
Rory McIlroy, 3
Dustin Johnson, 12
Justin Thomas, 14
Rickie Fowler, 35
Phil Mickelson, 40
Jordan Spieth, 79
Tiger Woods, 219

“I couldn’t believe all the kids that voted for Tiger Woods, considering they were all born after he won his last major,” said Dave Robinson, the franchise owner of TGA of Southwest Michigan.

Perhaps these budding young golfers feel robbed at having just missed witnessing an era of dominance like no other? Speculation about the rising generation is just that.

The only other hard data immediately available are the results of the questionnaire given to the 80 finalists of this year’s Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. It’s a slightly different demographic, as these are more committed golfers ranging in age from 7-15. The return from the DCP finalists was that Jordan Spieth is their favorite male golfer, Lexi Thompson the favorite female golfer, and Rickie Fowler is “the coolest golfer.” Tiger Woods, meanwhile, finished in the middle and bottom of the pack, although the DCP questionnaire was conducted last fall, when Woods’ playing future was in serious doubt.

It’s hard to make sense of it all, but we might say that today’s youngsters dress like Rickie, want to be like Jordan, and root for history.