Golf started growing during the pandemic, but still hasn’t reached the heights it did during the Tiger Woods Era of mainstream sports popularity. But maybe if the best players in the world start acting like they’re paying cart rental fees and bringing coolers on the course, we could grow the game again.
Thank you, Daniel Berger and Justin Thomas. This is how you celebrate a Ryder Cup win.
Yes, we need The First Tee. Yes, golf needs to look more like America. And yes, golf needs to get the club shaft out of its rear end sometimes. I’m excited to see which Golf Channel commentator will side-eye or chide this, saying it’s “bad for the game” or “not how the American team should comport themselves.” My money is on Brandel Chamblee.
If we’re being honest, the biggest current problems with the game are that it takes too long to play for our attention-reduced society (looking at you, five-hour muni rounds), and sometimes it just seems far too stuffy. It feels inaccessible because it’s played literally behind gates and fences to keep out the proletariat.
But you can ask for a dress code without being exclusionary. You can wear a backwards hat and still call a penalty on yourself. And you can still take that same hat off to shake hands with your opponent/fellow competitor when the day is over. The values of the game shouldn’t be about comportment, but about how you interact with others that play. And if they’re having fun, you can have fun too.
Take notes, golf media. This isn’t a good thing for your sport: It’s a great thing.
Team USA leads Europe 9-3 in the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.