BY MICHAEL QUIRK
For as long as it dates back, golf has existed as a gentleman’s game; tied directly to the exclusive course venues, price of equipment, and general cotillion-like atmosphere. This idea has constantly led to questions of, “will golf die out with _____ generation” time after time.
That was only exacerbated by the curiosity of who will carry the torch for the sport. After Jack and Arnie left, it went to Tiger, who took the game to new heights and a new type of fan. But how would that young fan growing up watching Tiger manifest itself once his time at the top began reaching its sunset? We are now starting to see that unfold with not only budding stars of the sport, but also an evolution of the game. Take the leaked exchange between Brooks Koepka and Bryson Dechambeau from this weekend for example.
Just incredible. Whether it was the metal cleats or the “right line” comment under the breath, the fact that these two genuinely do not like each other is fantastic for golf. Forget the fact that we have Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and other elite young players, having that honest, visceral hatred is beyond fun for golf. It’s like how drinking was more fun when everyone was in college, because you knew you weren’t legally supposed to do so. Dropping hard f-bombs in interviews at another golfer is so anti-golf culture that it is good for golf culture.
The animosity against Patrick Reed from seemingly, well, everybody is another example. Sports are at its best when you have rivalries, both between fans and teams/players, or player-to-player. To capture young audiences, viral moments are paramount. On a night when the NBA and NHL playoffs were going on, two mega stars in the NFL made waves by further clarifying their future plans, and the MLB season is fully underway, golf stole the show on Twitter on a day when no one was even playing.
Golf is in a good spot, and any and all eyeballs will only help.