There was a time when watching PGA Tour players on TV was a showcase for regular occurrences of exciting golf and amiable personalities. Exciting now? No. Boring now? Yes. The game has now become a quick cure for insomnia.
What's happened? Today's tour has a widening influx of young 20-year-old rich, pampered phenoms. These players are robotic perfectionists, showing no freely expressed emotions or efforts to engage themselves with spectators outside the ropes. Further, they show no appreciation for their equipment sponsors or site sponsors during telecasts, along with pre- and post-round interview segments.
They often fail to recognize sponsors, the very folks who want to see merit in their investment when they shell out millions to help pay players their checks with or without their winning. Sponsors want, and rightly so, more "bang for their bucks" by asking players to be more vocal during site TV pre- and post-interviews regarding the promotion of their products.
In retrospect, who can forget the showmanship and victory dances of Chi Chi Rodriguez; the amiable personalities of Fuzzy Zoeller, Gary McCord and Lee Trevino, always cracking jokes with fans and fellow competitors; Peter Jacobsen, forever singing and smiling. And who could ever forget watching the rivalry and charges of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus? To be a TV viewer along for the lively ride of this two-way affair was indeed exciting to watch.
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With all that said, there is an immediate need for a merging of charismatic players who can draw not only increased media attention, but also heighten the spectator fan base and marketing attention.
There's no doubt that the foreseeable future of TV viewing popularity and marketing appeal of the PGA Tour is troubling. TV ratings are reported dismal, multiyear sponsor marketing demand is declining along with some contracts wavering. Few marquee players remain with compelling personas. Many such players have recently retired or are playing on the Senior's Champions Tour for those 50 and older.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.