Growing up there was only one golfer that was appealing to me, Tiger Woods. Other than that, I always thought that golf was played by a bunch of goofy old men that wear funky pants and I had little to no interest in watching or playing it. I remember in my young adolescents, we would give any of my friends that played golf (there was only one) a hard time because “golf is not a sport”. Oh how things have changed.
Tiger Woods used to be the only marketable player marketable player of the PGA tour, but now there are a bunch of young studs that can appeal to younger children and adults. Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are just a few of the big-name players under 30. If you watch any tournaments then you will notice there are many more younger people in attendance thanks to these rising stars than there used to be.
It used to be that when Tiger Woods was not playing in a tournament, it was paid attention to far less than if he was playing. This has changed, mostly in the past year, due to the young rising stars that have made golf exciting to watch again. Ratings were up 36 percent in this year’s PGA Championship, even though Tiger did not make the cut to play on the weekend. This is very good news for golf because in recent tournaments when Tiger did not play well TV ratings were much worse than when Tiger was in contention. These recent high ratings, however, can be attributed to the staggering play of Rory McIlroy and the amazing finish between him and Phil Mickelson.
I can say, for myself, that I did not start watching golf until after Tiger Woods’ decline in 2009, but the emergence of these young players have made both watching and playing the game that much more exciting. While it may be more exciting when Tiger is playing well, I am still going to watch every tournament because of players like McIlory, Fowler, and Spieth.