All of last week was devoted to Tiger Woods.
I must admit that I made sure I was on a PGA Tour press conference at the beginning of the week, thinking that this was the announcement we’d been waiting for about Woods’ much-anticipated comeback from the sex scandal that has titillated some and disgusted others.
It turned out that the tour was just announcing a full-time sponsor for Torrey Pines, likely leading to many callers exiting quickly because they didn’t get the word they wanted. That would come the next day when Woods announced he would be back at the Masters.
Then came several requests to write Tiger tales as part of the buildup to Augusta and one of the things I noticed about those stories I wrote is that, a few months ago, I was flooded with comments about each piece I wrote after the scandal broke. This time around, there was nary a word in response.
My own theory is that most of us inside and outside of golf are experiencing Tiger fatigue. We’ve become so desensitized to the whole affair that the posting of lurid text messages, allegedly from Woods to a former porn star, hardly caused a stir among the general populace.
The most annoying thing about the whole affair was its link to golf, even though it had nothing to do with golf. John Cook, a buddy of Tiger’s and an 11-time PGA Tour winner, made a good point during a discussion I had with him last week.
“Tiger didn’t do anything to hurt the game of golf. He might have hurt himself personally, but he didn’t cheat at golf, he didn’t gamble on golf, he didn’t hurt golf in any way.”
Since the Tiger scandal broke during the off-season in Canada, the impact on the game has been minimal, if there’s an impact at all. Actually, I don’t think there would have been any effect on golf even if the details came out in July. The game and the industry has been an innocent bystander in the whole affair.
However, Woods’ return to Augusta is expected by some to be a golf event of epic proportions and promises to spike ratings to Super Bowl levels although I wonder who has got time on a workday to tune in and see what they would normally see in the first round of the Masters.
Still, curiosity will win out over diligence at work with many people, so golf will be in the faces of many people, including those who don’t usually pay attention. Could that perhaps lead to increased interest in the game in the long run, perhaps increased participation or rounds played or is profile the best we can expect?
That brings us to the question of the week in the GNN Poll:
Will Tiger Woods’ return at Augusta impact your golf business in any way?
Be sure to drop by and cast your vote.