The US Open wrapped up this past weekend and many of the accounts indicate that it was one of the most poorly viewed US Open’s in history. I am sure there are many reasons to postulate, but I for one don’t think people understand the game of golf. The previous week we had the NBA Finals which also under-performed by the viewing standards that the NBA is accustomed to. Basketball is my favorite sport to play and used to be my favorite to watch. Unfortunately for me, watching basketball and other team sports, NFL, NBA, and NHL has become frustrating because of the subjective nature of officials that have made themselves almost as influential as the players themselves. I am not saying that officials don’t have a role in the game of golf, but when they get engaged, it is obvious and for the most part rememberable, and often time, negative experience because we are so accustomed to watching the players decide it for themselves. Most of these moments stand out, Lexi Thompson this year, Dustin Johnson at last years US Open, and Dustin Johnson’s PGA debacle at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straights. Most would agree today that the LPGA got it wrong, as did the USGA and the PGA, so much so that the USGA has changed the rules. The tenet that all golf is played under is:
“Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.”
This is why I am in this business and play this game, because it is filled with people that understand this principle.