Friday Thought: Housecleaning in Golf

Maybe you have a drawer, a closet, or a room where you store things you don’t use, but are reluctant to throw out.  This lessens the functionality of your home by turning part of it into a storage area for useless junk.  If you go into that room or closet and throw everything out, you lose nothing and gain space for other purposes.

Sometimes less is more, but we are reluctant to get rid of anything.  We cling to stuff out of habit.  You could even say we cling to habits out of habit.

So we come to the World Long Driving Championships.  They lost their title sponsor and were in danger of canceling this year’s event.  Golf Channel stepped in to “save” the event.  But was it worth saving?

The world of golf right now is a room filled with stuff, some of it essential, much of it junk.  It’s hard to find the Masters in a room filled with Fed Ex Cups and Long Drive Championships.  You have to step around the women’s “fifth major” and duck under Brandel Chamblee and Kelly Tilghman to get to the British Open.  There’s the Pebble Beach Pro-Am over in the corner, but it’s covered in dust and the batteries are dead.  Where the heck is the PGA Championship?  Oh, there it is, buried under five boxes of ancient Tiger Woods VCR tapes.

Everybody wants to make a buck.  I get it.  But there’s no obligation on my part to go along with it.

There is no less honor to winning a non-televised Long Drive competition.  Putt-Putt has been holding a championship since 1959, and those have not been on television for a long time.  Is there a mandate I have a panic attack over that?

It’s time for housecleaning, time to get rid of the useless junk.  No help will come from Golf Channel.  They treat a children’s Drive, Pitch, and Putt with the same level of gravitas as the U.S. Open.  There’s so much crap in golf’s room that the good stuff suffers.  Toss out the garbage!

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11 Responses to Friday Thought: Housecleaning in Golf

  1. JosieWales says:

    Well written Lanny…but there is a big problem…there is just not enough “pure golf news” to fill up 24 hrs. at the Golf Channel so they have to fill the holes with junk and hope they can survive. If they emptied out all the junk they would be left with one hour of golf news and 23 hours of test pattern. Look at Golf website…it is full of junk stories, goofy videos and pics, pics, pics. Today’s so-called “viewer” or “reader” has the attention span of an insect. So which is it?…the golf media responding to the needs of the public or the public just getting dumber? I really don’t know.
    But I expect more and more Long Drive/Trick Shot Video programming in the future. That’s the best they can come up with.

    • lannyh says:

      Well said. I think it’s both: the public is getting dumber; and the media is getting more and more effective and forceful at catering to them.

      I often think about your main point as it related to regular news. When national news was 30 minutes a night, it was almost all real news, with maybe one human interest type fluff story at the end. When cable news started, it was pretty much the same, with the same news stories being recycled every hour. It was intended for people to watch 30 minutes or an hour then move on.

      Now they want people to turn on Fox News or CNN first thing in the morning and leave it on all day. So people watch a Washington DC version of Entertainment Tonight and tell themselves they are staying informed.

      It really does seem like people’s awareness and knowledge would be better with less coverage. It’s so watered down nowadays that you don’t get much out of it.

  2. JosieWales says:

    I guess the World Long Drive Contest would be golf’s answer to the Home Run Derby or the Slam Dunk Contest? I predict a short life span for this one.

  3. FIneByMe says:

    Toss out the garbage and you might as well toss out The Golf Channel.

  4. DanishDude says:

    I some times wonder if golf simply isn’t a too narrow subject to fill up an entire tv-channels content or a website/blog for that matter.

    • Sports-realist. says:

      ……24 hour sports EVERYTHING is becoming too much… channel, mlb network, and nfl network are SO LAME in the off seasons(do they have a tennis channel yet? How bout a ping-pong channel?)….
      ……..Golf channel programming is mostly lame year round……..The long drive contest isn’t going to bring in the viewers long term…I’m guessing they got it fairly cheap……Actually, the golf channel should show more of that putt-putt tournament stuff, and I’m sure Chamblee and friends could show us how to PROPERLY ‘putt-putt’ IN STUDIO……

      • lannyh says:

        Indeed there is a tennis channel. I remember when the first started pushing back the Super Bowl start time, and increasing the time for the pregame. At a certain point, you’ve heard everything there is to say. They are repeating themselves, and they know they are repeating themselves, so they had to add in all the silly stuff. Anyway, the point is, Yeah, I agree, they overdo it everywhere nowadays.

        ESPN is our general sports network, but they are no ABC Wide World of Sports. You watch sports center and it is almost exclusively MLB (162 tedious games a year…), NBA (84 games to eliminate a handful of teams, NHL (not much), and NFL (which they obsess over).

        They give far, far more coverage to the NFL draft than any sports other than football, baseball, and basketball. Add up all their golf coverage for a year, and the NFL Draft coverage will dwarf it.

    • lannyh says:

      I think that’s probably the case, DD. Consider Dan Jenkins, one of best golf writers ever. He spent his falls covering football.

  5. NikeRules says:

    Don’t look now but Nick Watney is atop the leaderboard with a 3 shot lead. Wouldn’t mind that Nike boy getting back on track

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