(Photo provided by PGA Tour.com)
Thursday was the official start of the 2010 PGA Tour season. (polite golf clap) The SBS Championship is a collection of all last year’s winners playing for the first trophy of the new season. While die-hard golfers have been “jonesing” for this day since the end of the 2009 golf season, most people aren’t aware that professional golf has begun. This is primarily due to the fact that these first few tournaments are held in Hawaii (time zone issues), and only shown on the Golf Channel. No one really starts paying attention to professional golf until Jan. 20th brings in the “west coast swing,” a series of tournaments up and down the left coast highlighted by stops at beautiful, world-famous courses like Pebble Beach (Monterrey Peninsula), Riviera (Pacific Palisades), and Torrey Pines (San Diego).
There is another reason people may not be aware that it’s time to break out the wild-print shirts, odd pants, vividly colored belts, and increasingly popular Fedora. No one is talking about Tiger Woods playing golf. Rather, everyone is talking about Tiger Woods not playing golf (and about his laundry list of mistresses, where he is, when he’ll come back, how much Elin will get in the inevitable divorce, etc, etc.). As was supposed by many and proved with his absence the second half of last year due to injury, Tiger has usurped the game that made him what he is. People are no longer looking to the PGA Tour.com to see what Tiger is up to… but rather TMZ.com.
I think the topic that most makes me INSANE when I hear golf announcers and pundits talk about Tiger, is the fact that most (if not all) talk about how they think he’ll come back more focused than ever and will be an even better golfer. I wish these guys would stop and think about what it is they’re saying. Essentially, they are saying that, because Tiger Woods secret sex life has become public and his marriage most likely decimated, that he will focus even more on golf and shut out the world around him. He will win more tournaments and dominate golf even more– giving the world the proverbial middle-finger saying… see… I’m great! I wish the golf goobers would stop interweaving the issues of Tiger’s messy life with his greatness on the course.
It is my opinion that Tiger will struggle. I have never been a fan of Tiger– he’s a hot-head, swears at others and himself, throws clubs, and is generally a jerk. He’s not anyone I would want to play golf with. That said, I hope he struggles so that people see that he is human. How could a person not be affected by the fact that he no longer gets to see his little girl and brand new little boy all the time? I just don’t see how this chapter in his life will not have, at the very least, a short-term impact.
At the risk of “casting the first stone,” I doubt that Tiger Woods has the humility in him to look at the very people who have made him a multi-millionaire, and apologize. Not apologize for what he did… that apology belongs to his wife and children. But he needs to apologize for being a phony. He needs to apologize for, what has in essence been, his “do as I say-don’t do as I do, lifestyle. If Tiger can show true humility and humanity, America will once again embrace him. Otherwise, he’ll be like the WWF wrestler who used to be a good guy, but now is jeered, booed, and cheap-shots opponents while backing them up into the turnbuckle. (Holy crap– did I just divulge my guilty pleasure of watching professional wrestling with that last little ditty???).
Speaking of true humility, here’s a video of professional golfer Chris DiMarco hitting a shot that many of us “mere mortals” know well. If the pros can still do this… I don’t feel so bad. Thanks to Bob Smiley and his OUTSTANDING blog called Fore Right for the clip. A great blog with great information!