Or maybe we should just consult the Golden Rule – the ‘do unto others’ thing. Would I want someone to approach me for an autograph – or 10 – every time I went out to dinner or the grocery store? Asking for an autograph at a tournament is a different matter. Most have setups so that the gallery can get close to golfers as they walk from the practice tee to the putting green. Those who want to sign a few programs can.
Everyone has a right to privacy. Hey, isn’t that what the Founding Fathers were about in at least some of the provisions within the Bill of Rights? Golfers are public figures and it’s the public that makes for the big purses they can win. Therefore, I would reason, the public has some right to know about the professional lives of golfers. The operative word here is ‘professional’. And any ‘true’ pro knows the value of the public. None of them know it better than Arnie, a one man marketing tsunami for golf. The winningest golfer of all time, Sam Sneed, earned less than a million dollars total in purses. Now a professional golfer can earn more than that with one win in a major tournament. And inflation only counts for a small part of that difference.
I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of enjoyment following pro golf. Some of the best sporting events I’ve ever seen are golf tournaments. Anyone remember Jack’s last win at Augusta? Tough to top that one. I still get a tingle thinking about it. So we get to see how the game can be played and the best golfers in the world get a very nice lifestyle. Fair trade?
Tomorrow we’ll look at the components for a win win contract among golf pros, the media and avid golf fans.