Today was a great day for the Peters Family. Erin was able to secure us tickets to the Memorial Golf Tournament today. I know it is Wednesday and the Tournament doesn’t officially start until Thursday, but it was the final practice round and the Pro-Am. Being that it was a practice round we got to see all the Superstars up close and personal. Tiger Woods was 100 feet from me and I was like a 13-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. I have written about my adoration of Tiger as a golfer, not a man, a couple weeks before the Masters. Tiger for guys my age represents the greatest stretch of domination of an athlete ever. Tiger even after a few down years and stretches where he did not even play is still the one golfer that moves the needle for the sport. As we were walking in the gate I overheard a kid, who was no more than 7 or 8, say to his Dad, “I want to see Tiger Woods!” Tiger transcends generations, the way legends are passed down like the story of Paul Bunyan. I can picture this kid’s Dad sitting his boy down and telling him about the feats of Tiger and showing him videoes of Tiger’s conquests (Golf you sickos!). The point is we need another Tiger in golf to help bring the young fans to the sport. I am a football coach and I played football in High School and College and my wife often asks me if we have a son will I push him to football. My response is no I will let him or her play whatever they want and if I had my choice they would play golf, especially if our child is a girl. I believe golf has come a long way since I was young and a lot of that has to do with Tiger Woods. On a side note, Tiger’s playing partners included Peyton Manning! What a day!
We sat at the 16th hole and saw all of the big shots, minus Rory and Dustin Johnson. We saw Tiger first followed by Justin Thomas, Master’s Champion Patrick Reed (Erin Hates Him), Rickie Fowler (Erin Loves Him!), Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, and finally Phil Mickelson, and Jordan Spieth. What a day of golf and the best part was sharing my love of the game with Erin. We have a hard time going to sporting events, we enjoy going to Indians games but she is usually out for football games after September because of weather and does not enjoy the Cavs games because we do not like leaving the house in the winter. We both enjoyed the golf today she loves the personal stories of the golfers and she forms her opinions based on those stories, hence her hate for Reed and her love for Rickie. I think the younger stars have a chance to win over a lot of younger fans because of their social media presence as compared to older golfers. Erin got into a conversation with three guys in front of us today based on how fun it would be to go on spring break with Rickie Fowler because of his SnapChat and Instagram posts. The crowd at Muirfield as I looked around was considerably older but there were more younger people than I expected to see. I believe the younger golfers such as Jordan, Rickie, Justin Thomas can connect with fans in a different way with younger golfers. They are wearing more relevant brands Jordan is wearing Under Armour, Rickie is Puma, and Justin, Rory, and Tiger are wearing Nike. This is giving fans an opportunity to wear what the pros are wearing as they do in other sports. Golf will never be able to crack the big three sports, football, basketball, and baseball, but they could hang in there at 4 or 5 with the ability to put their stars out front of the sport and their stories to connect with the fans. Golf has a bright future and in this bloggers opinion, the groundwork for the future was laid by Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.