Had an interesting conversation on twitter the other night, well not so much a conversation as a difference of opinion, well not so much a difference of opinion more an attack on my views.
There is a certain element who follow golf who are not really golf fans, they worship at the temple of Tiger, now like most religious fundamentalists they see everything in black and white, if you don’t worship Tiger then you hate him & you must be punished for not kneeling at the feet of golf’s savoir.
Golf was here before Tiger and it will be here long after Tiger.
Throughout the history of golf there are those that catch the publics, and the medias, attention.
Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, John Daly and now Tiger Through various times in golf history these have been the “bums on seats” guys. But did any of them save or make golf?
To be fair an argument could be for each of them.
But where Tiger has a huge advantage over the others is the digital revolution we now live in.
I remember when Sandy Lyle won the master, staying up late in here on the Sunday night. You saw many shots but to be honest TV signals where so bad back then you only really seen the ball when it was motionless or when the players where putting.
You only need to watch old “Shells Wonderful World Of Golf” shows to see how poor, by today’s standards, production quality was.
Now we have HD, some even have 3D, and you even see the dimples on the ball.
Slow motion cameras, swing hub Minolta, 20 odd cameras at majors and certain holes live on line like they do at the Masters.
Now is that Tiger or is that technology?
If, say, a Lee Trevino came on the scene today how huge a TV draw would he be? Brilliant golfer with a real larger than life personality, a real character. The cameras would be terrified not to be on him.
Without dedicated sports channels would golf be the draw to sponsors it currently is?
In the UK we used to get the Open Championship, The Master’s, 1 or 2 UK based events and the World match play live and that was it. No US Open or PGA live, not even highlights. Even the Ryder Cup was recorded highlights.
Now to thanks to dedicated Sports channels we get every European Tour and PGA event live in our living rooms.
Once again is that down to the Tiger effect ??
Now surly this is not Tiger hating ? Surely these are just simple facts ?
But one thing that did disturb me during my “conversation” with the disciples of Tiger was the disrespect for Jack Nicklaus.
“he only had to beat about 4 players” was 1 comment, ok that was red rag to a bull time for me. Between 1962 and 1986 jack won 18 majors, so between his 1st and last major 78 majors where won by others, to say 4 other players is insulting. Its also worth pointing out that Jack had 19, yes 19 runner up spots in majors.
I cried at St.Andrews in 2005 when Jack stood on the Swilken Bridge that Friday and I was far from being alone, will I be the same with Tiger ? Will you be the same with Tiger?
Jack is so respected in Scotland we even put him on a £5 bank note.
Do I respect Tigers record as a golfer ? Of course I do.
But I have no respect for the man as a person. That does not mean that I hate him.
Perhaps its time Tiger fans removed their blinkers and started to show some respect for the game and other players.