So how should pro golfers, the golf media and golf audiences all get along? It’s quite easy, treat each other like you’d like to be treated. Back to the little Rule of Gold again. Well, why not. It works doesn’t it? Yeah I know, it’s so simple. But what’s wrong with simple.
If you’re the golf media, make sure you know what’s going on. Don’t ask the pro the same question he or she’s been asked each of the last 10 weeks. Do some work. Figure out an interesting question that the pro can really sink his teeth into. Remember Tiger and ‘the slump’. The press wasn’t asking me, but even I was getting tired of hearing it. Where were questions such as ‘what part of the swing are you trying to fix?’ ‘Are you experiencing some wear and tear on the body that you’re trying to address with a swing change?’
And what about Us, the golfing public? I don’t know about you, but I hear at every British Open how knowledgeable the British fans are. I don’t doubt it, I mean the Scots invented the game and it’s their national sport. You’d expect them to be on top of it. And those link courses, now those are fun to play, much more so than most US target courses. But I digress (I’ll get back to this topic in a future blog). You even hear the pros say in ‘those after round interviews’ how knowledgeable the local fans are. Even if they’re rooting for Monty they’ll give you applause for a deftly executed shot. And they don’t yell ‘Get in the hole’. Even as a TV spectator I’ve about had it with that phrase. What motivates that mindless screaming? the desire to have your voice heard by millions?
And then you pros. Yeah you, I’m talking to you. Take a course in how to speak with the media. It ought to be part of your training regimen. With the right approach you can make the media your friend. Honest! They’re just trying to make a living. They’ve got a cigar smoking boss somewhere who is screaming at them daily to get a good story. So give them one. When they ask you an embarrassing question just deflect it and start talking about something interesting. (By the way, this technique works well with kids.) Like how Andrade went from 100+ in putting last year to number 1 this year because he got new sunglasses (that’s true by the way). You might even talk about the subtler parts of the game and in the process help educate the US golfing public. In time we might even start to understand it the way the Scots do. And one more thing – please get it together for the next Ryder Cup. You’re embarrassing us. Not your play, your attitude. Get loose, wear funkier clothing, be nice to the crowd, joke around AND have a good time. Don’t look like you’re getting an enema, it doesn’t do your image any good. I know you’re ‘playing for your country’. Well you can do that and have a good time too. Leave those pained expressions for the brain surgeons.
Next week let’s look at why amateur golfers haven’t gotten better over the last 30 years even though the technology gets better every month. Don’t know about you, but I’m taking the weekend off, maybe even get out on the course. If I could just find the ‘slot’…………