I’m going to get a little biased but hear me out… I’m pretty much just thinking out loud but curious to know if anyone sees it the way I do. The subject – today’s golf stars versus yester-year’s golf shining star. I’m talking Rickie, Jordan, Jason, and the rest of the crew versus the one and only Tiger.
It’s been quite awhile since we’ve had one player dominating the top of the leaderboard tournament after tournament. One can argue that Jason Day has done one hell of a job but it just doesn’t feel the same. I think of really great play but I also think about his family as weird as that sounds. When I think of his golfing ability for someone reason my mind shifts to images of his son, wife, and baby heading to the green to great him. He’s squeaky clean, appears to be an all around nice guy, and is definitely a great golfer!
Our top ten world ranked golfers include names like Jason Day, Jordan, DJ, and even Rickie but it’s not because they constantly win… it’s because they constantly are in the top tier finishers. Take a look at those guys and surely what comes to mind is just how great of a time they are having. Not how great their golf is… but how much fun they’re having. They’re enjoying the limelight and enjoying their time on and off the course which I absolutely appreciate. Although he hasn’t had a spectacular year, Rickie (and we love you man!) is currently 7th in the world. I wonder if there is any factoring in of how many social media followers he has? The guy has that down perfect and we can’t thank him enough for letting us in on all of it! Who doesn’t love his Snapchat adventures or Instagram photos?! This guy is living the life! Literally! Same goes for the other top guys whether it’s family time or fun time. I kind of group them all together as the modern day Rat Pack of golf. …but as much fun as it is to see their off course awesomeness I still feel like the world of golf fans (sports media included) is sitting here just holding our breath waiting for a glimpse back into spectacular competition.
Here’s the big difference and what I’m leading to… Tiger, although we now know he had a penchant for partying, women, and an obsessive desire to become a Navy Seal, he wanted to win and didn’t let anyone in on his side life. He was a competitor. He was a tiger. His prey? The trophy. To be the best. To be world #1. Tiger had a thirst for winning more so than any other golfer to grace the fairways that we see today. He was so much fun to watch because he was such a fierce competitor and he brought the crowds like no other. He was literally the best athlete in the world and no one could take their eyes off of him. We’ve had a couple glimpses of this style of golf recently with the finish at The Open Championship and the PGA Championship but it doesn’t even scratch the surface of Tiger in his prime.
I miss the old Tiger. I think the sports world misses him too. He held the world’s attention beyond just the average golf fan which hasn’t been matched since his fall from grace. Kids everywhere idolized him (sadly that didn’t turn out so hot) and if you golfed on a Sunday at your local course you were sure to see guys wearing the signature black and red ensemble.
Do we need Tiger back? I’m going to give that an enthusiastic yes… but with a twist. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Tiger. It can be Rickie… it can be Jason, or Jordan, or fill-in-the-blank current golf star. It can honestly be any golfer yet to even make the tour but golf needs a fierce competitor who is not distracted by social media or “the lifestyle” or at least one who can do both (both of course would be major ideal). Don’t get me wrong, I love watching today’s top players whether it’s on or off the course (I’m counting down the days we’ll be let in on all the action of the next bro vacation) and I think it’s done a good thing for our game by showing that golf doesn’t have to be so serious… but I so desperately want a star to emerge who wants nothing more than to hoard all the trophies, titles, and jackets. I want the best! I want an obsessed competitor.
…what do you think?
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