Skins Game is golf worth saving
Every year at this time many golf columns are filled with criticism of the golf events after the Tour Championship. The most common tag applied to these events is “the silly season". For some reason golf pundits look down on challenge formats and save their strongest venom for the Skins Game. As these arranged matches are exactly the ones played by us, the mortal golfers of the world, my question is: what’s wrong with the best players in the world playing these games? Because they make it look too easy?
No, the problem is with the broadcast. If TV executives could see slightly beyond their noses, they would see a lot of alternatives. For instance, how about combining Skins Game of the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and LPGA into one super event? The only thing wrong with these matches is that we have seemingly endless shots of Tiger Woods, Fred Couples and whoever else is playing, walk down fairway after fairway. If there were three matches being played at the same time, there would be virtually no down time. And I believe that events such as the Ryder Cup have shown that us viewers are not so stupid that we can’t follow more than one match at a time.
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If the PGA and TV deem we need golf during the holidays, I would agree that a format change, or different game altogether, would be in order.
The problem you highlight is that many players are resting up and choose not to participate in events like this during the "silly season", or they are run so ragged travelling internationally that they leave their best game on the plane (case in point, Tiger). No disrespect to Funk, Sorenstam or Couples, but I'd rather see something with a more deserving and competitive field. But how often can you get VJ, Phil and Ernie/Retief together without diluting that rivalry too?
Proposed format change: Big Break meets Skins game. Let's get some decent, developing players against the pros for the same purses, and see how they handle it.
The point is that there are a lot of interesting variations that could be used during the off-season. If only the powers-that-be would listen to us.
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