Sunday, January 27, 2008

All Tiger. All the Time.

I watched the foregone conclusion today. Would I have watched the inevitable at The Buick Invitational if Tiger wasn't blowing away the field and on camera constantly? Perhaps I would, but many of you wouldn't.

"When Tiger Woods enters a tournament and when he is in contention in the final round, we see a 30 to 50 percent increase over what is the 'normal' rating," said Neal Pilson, the head of a sports TV consulting company and former president of CBS Sports. -Golf Today

I have a close friend that's so tired of having to see Tiger line up every putt, take every practice swing, spit, hitch up his pants and everything else imaginable, that he's swears he won't watch any more TV golf if Tiger's in contention. He's a fairly principled guy, so I suspect he's DVRing the Champion's Tour and buying Hooter's Tour highlight VHS tapes on ebay.

The cold hard facts are Woods drives the ratings and the ensuing dollars. The casual golf fan and consumer makes up the bulk of the weekend viewing numbers and they don't give a crap what Cameron Beckman shot or what his swing looks like. The golf junkie will be there regardless, my friend the exception, but the ratings drivers want to see as much of Woods as they can. Also, don't think for a second that the rest of the field isn't appreciative of Woods as well. Thanks to him driving ratings they can finish as an also ran and still collect a six figure check for the week. Gotta make you wonder what those huge "loser" checks do to someone's competitive fire. This week I watched a number of interviews with other pros about what it's like to play with Tiger. It was a smarm fest. I thought they were on his payroll. Although a bit mistimed, you at least have to admire Rory Sabbatini's moxy by refusing to concede to Woods before the first ball was struck.

Be prepared to see a lot of Woods for the next fifteen years or so. He's just entering his prime and I think his best results are yet to come. Plus, the next Tiger contender isn't playing yet. Mickelson, Singh, Scott, and others were all supposed to have the game and character to challenge him. Oh they can occasionally, but not on a regular basis. We may be witnessing an aberration that comes along once every fifty years or so. I hope not. As much as I enjoy watching Wood's talent displayed, I'd enjoy it more with some competition.

Til' next,


  1. I am the mentioned friend; Tiger Woods is no more fun to watch than any other Pro on the tour. They all hit great shots, not as many or as often as Tiger I agree. But they should be shown, or maybe we just let Tiger play alone. Go out first and the others play for second, that way Tiger won’t have to wait for someone else to putt. And we might get to see some other players while Tiger walks to each next tee. Listen I don’t like Tiger Woods, I think he’s phony. But that’s my opinion, and I have a right to it. Tiger Woods can win 100 more tournaments than Arnie, but he will never be the man arnie is. The media is a fault as usual; funny they ruin almost everything, sports, politics’, even the news. Why I don’t like tiger 1st he’s not fun, I like fun people, the whole tour is not as fun as it once was, it’s Tiger and the press. 2nd he’s so good that a lot of the players feel they can’t win, great, why should I or you watch? 3rd he is the reason they have messed up a lot of nice golf courses, they say they were tiger proofing them, bull____, they were taking a lot of good players out of the mix by making it to long for them. Long is to Tigers advantage, they add some 300yds to a course and it’s like adding an extra par four for the shorter hitters. DAH.who are they trying to kid, they are fooling the people that only watch when Tigers in the mix. They don’t understand that it’s shaped for Tiger to win. How about Jan. 31, 1999 the fans move a boulder out of his way during the Phoenix Open, if that had been J.P.Hayes, or Mark Calcavecchia you don’t thing they would have held up play for them. They estimate that boulder at 1000 lbs, loose impediment YEA RIGHT. They have not moved the rim in basketball, nor have they made it 95 feet to 1st base, its still 100yards in the NFL. Although they do allow cheating in the NFL now (NE PATS). We use to watch guys playing on golf courses similar to what we play on, and we dream of making the tour, well not at 7500 yards and not without a 300+ driver shot. Lets sum it up the players don’t believe they can win, the courses are not the same, if tiger wasn’t your favorite player you may never get to see your favorite player and he’s no fun. Tell me why I should watch a tournament Tigers in and ahead. Hello! I am going to watch the Champions tour, it’s more compettive, those guys are fun, they all feel they can win and try to do so, and no ones setting up the course for any one player, but most of all the coverage is so much better. Try it you’ll like it, I did and I do.

  2. golfdean,

    No slight intended. I was just using you as an example of someone whose golf viewing is changed by Tigermania. Thanks for the provocative comments.