It's almost golf season...
When I need two hands to count the number of tours in action, it’s almost golf season. This week, the Euro and Asian tours dispute a tournament in India (that’s a two-for-one, boys.) The LPGA is in Thailand and the Euro Ladies are in New Zealand. The PGA is at storied and renewed Riviera, while the Champs Tour finds itself in Florida. Close, but that’s a pinkie, a ring, a no-no, an index and a thumb.
The Futures, Euro Challenge, Tour de las Americas and Canadian tours all rejoin the battle ground in March, while the Nationwide and Aussie tours tee it up next weekend. The trouble we see these years is the inconsistency of tours. The LPGA is overseas for much of the first portion of the season, while the Euro Seniors don’t get into action until, of all places the US Senior PGA! You know that it’s not politics, but simply, the scarcity of dollars.
There was a time that the Euro Tour was thin with talent; no longer the case. If you want a return to bygone days, compare the Nationwide with the Euro Challenge tour. That’s where you find the discrepancy of talent. Many N-Wide regulars are ready to compete and win on the US PGA Tour. The same cannot be said of the members of the Euro Challenge circuit.
If you want to find the next, oh say, Louis Oosthuizen, look to his home tour, the South African PGA circuit. That’s where Els, Goosen, Sabbatini, Immelmen and others learned the trade and where Louis, Schwartzel and others spend some time these days. If you want to find the most inspired tour, head down under to Australia, where the Surf Coast Knockout beats anything that the US PGA Tour can put together, with the singular exception of match play.
2011 has potential. Tiger Woods is an underdog for the first time since diapers. Phil’s swan song is warming up (as is Vijay’s and others from the power decade of 1997-2007.) While many writers are eager (overly so?) to crown a new jungle king, we may not see one for a decade or so. Nothing that Fowler, Johnson, Kaymer and Oosthuizen have done serves to impress me beyond potential. They’ve won tournies and majors, but they’ve lost tournies and majors. If we consider Jack came in in 1962 and we waited until Tiger in 1997, that’s 35 years. Expect the next great one around 2032. We’ll have our share of Watsons, Trevinos, Faldos, Seves and even a Norman or two until then.
I’m a big fan of classic courses, so much so that I contribute to Golf Club Atlas, an online forum devoted to architectural discussions. You cannot imagine how happy I am to see more and more golden-age courses on tour. This week, Riviera. Last week, Pebble Beach (we miss you, Cypress Point.) Later in the year, Colonial, Congressional, Aronimink and Greenbrier Old White will be joined by Segefield, Plainfield and Sea Island. Now that’s a goumet’s smorgasboard. Enough to offset the TPC this and that from time to time.
|« Fantasy Golf Update: Sometimes you get lucky, others you get stuck with the check||Golf gear I'm looking forward to testing in 2011: Starter Coin, Nike and Fairway and Greene »|
This post has 1 feedback awaiting moderation...