The term ‘nanny state’ is widely credited to Iain Macleod, a member of the British parliament who felt the government was unduly overprotective and shielded people from the consequences of their own actions. Macleod died in 1970, so he didn’t live to see his notional concept perfected by a succession of executives in faraway Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.Continue reading “PGA Tour’s ‘nanny’ approach exposed as a liability by Saudi event”
Tag: PGA Tour
Thursday a good day for golf, but a lousy one for Greg Norman.
Too often lately golf has seemed less a sport than a business, with every precinct of the professional game consumed by news, gossip, threats and intrigue about rival leagues and red lines. Thursday at Southern Hills promised a welcome return to the good ol’ days, when the game’s reference dictionary entries for ‘B’ included birdies and bogeys, but not bonesaws: a major championship, a sublime venue, a blockbuster group, a wealth of storylines—in short, golf as it used to be. That promise was delivered upon, and even the brief intrusion of the aforementioned corporate chicanery was positive.Continue reading “Thursday a good day for golf, but a lousy one for Greg Norman.”
Finally, a reason to root for the Saudis — they’ll take Sergio Garcia!
Somewhere deep in the bowels of the budget for LIV Golf, well below the lucrative prize funds and exorbitant gratuities to overlook the gratuitous, closer to the paltry media buys to induce velvety coverage, there should be a line item for diaper-changing facilities to be used by the increasingly infirm or dependably infantile who will occupy its locker rooms.
Take Sergio Garcia (“please,” quoth Henny Youngman). Garcia is not entirely a one-dimensional dipstick. He can on occasion be amiable and funny, but even at 42 he is proof that age and maturity are mutually exclusive. In Thursday’s first round of the Wells Fargo Championship, he demonstrated anew his tendency to process every inconvenience as an injustice.Continue reading “Finally, a reason to root for the Saudis — they’ll take Sergio Garcia!”
As Greg Norman’s clown show rolls on, his Saudi bosses can’t be laughing
It’s performance review season in corporate America, when employees are either congratulated on jobs well done or held to account for shortcomings. If Greg Norman were disposed toward self-reflection (stay with me), he might feel relief that his Saudi-backed outfit isn’t held to such conventional standards on performance, or for that matter on commercial viability, ROI or morality.Continue reading “As Greg Norman’s clown show rolls on, his Saudi bosses can’t be laughing”
From Tour winner to not knowing where the ball is going, a lonely search for answers.
Fans invariably focus on the glamorous end of a leaderboard—triumphs, trophies—but stories are often no less compelling at the hardscrabble end of things, where blood vessels pop more often than flashbulbs. If there’s truth in the cliché that it’s lonely at the top, the bottom can be downright desolate.Continue reading “From Tour winner to not knowing where the ball is going, a lonely search for answers.”
Greg Norman’s Saudi schedule may force shameless pros from the shadows
The true scale of a huckster’s toxicity is never apparent in the cost to his reputation—by definition, he has little to defend—but rather in how easily he imperils the honor of anyone who associates with him. After two years of speculation and rumor-mongering, the day is near when we’ll finally learn who among the world’s best golfers is willing to sacrifice his standing on Greg Norman’s amoral altar.Continue reading “Greg Norman’s Saudi schedule may force shameless pros from the shadows”
Jay Monahan has an edge on his Saudi rivals, but more forced change lies ahead.
Success stories in sport often owe as much to the ineptitude of the vanquished as to the brilliance of the victor. When future generations of Tweeters analyze the past few years in golf, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will be credited for deft backroom diplomacy in building crucial alliances both public (key players) and private (Chairman Ridley). Yet a thorough accounting should note the extent to which Monahan has benefitted from the bumbling of those pushing a Saudi-financed rival league, a mutiny of clowns that could make Bozo seem Churchillian by comparison.Continue reading “Jay Monahan has an edge on his Saudi rivals, but more forced change lies ahead.”
Just like his Super League idea, Greg Norman’s war against the PGA Tour only exists on paper.
It’s unlikely that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will ever respond to the letter he received this week from Greg Norman, for much the same reason that he probably wouldn’t engage someone wearing a tinfoil hat and shrieking in the street. But if he did reply, Monahan could do worse than to heed the example of James Bailey, a former general counsel for the Cleveland Browns.
In 1974, an Akron, Ohio, lawyer named Dale Cox angrily threatened to sue the Browns over the dangers posed by fans launching paper airplanes around him in the stadium. Bailey returned the complainant’s letter with a famously terse response that has been widely circulated over the years.
“Dear Mr. Cox,” he wrote, “I feel that you should be aware that some asshole is signing your name to stupid letters.”Continue reading “Just like his Super League idea, Greg Norman’s war against the PGA Tour only exists on paper.”
Apologies are a test of character, and Phil Mickelson’s revealed his.
Legend has it that Marcus Licinius Crassus of Rome was killed by the mutineering men he’d led into a failed battle, who poured molten gold down their leader’s throat in mockery of his thirst for wealth. Philip Alfred Mickelson of Rancho Santa Fe, on the other hand, was merely deserted by his bootless troops as the cause in which he had conscripted them slipped away. As for the symbolic choking on needless greed, he served and swallowed that ruinous cocktail himself.Continue reading “Apologies are a test of character, and Phil Mickelson’s revealed his.”
Phil Mickelson’s mouth has brought him — and his greedy Saudi scheme — to the brink of ruin
An old adage—often wrongly attributed to Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”—holds that if you wait by the riverbank long enough, the bodies of your enemies will eventually float by. That’s as good a metaphor as any for how some golf industry executives must have felt in the wake of recent comments by Phil Mickelson that incinerated his reputation, alienated most every constituency in the game, exposed him to disciplinary action, and otherwise cast him in a light so unflatteringly amoral that even Greg Norman might hesitate to be seen in his company.Continue reading “Phil Mickelson’s mouth has brought him — and his greedy Saudi scheme — to the brink of ruin”
Phil Mickelson cares about rights; just not the rights abused by his Saudi pals
It’s difficult to ascertain exactly which character trait—Hubris? Hypocrisy? Indecency?—motivates someone to furiously demand the freedom to exercise his rights while being applauded by benefactors from a regime that dismembers its critics for doing just that. Or to pause his guzzling from the teat of Middle Eastern royalty only long enough to denounce the “obnoxious greed” of an organization that made him an enormous sum of money (which is not to presume he still has it).Continue reading “Phil Mickelson cares about rights; just not the rights abused by his Saudi pals”
Saudi-Bound Golfers Brush Off Politics, But Stain Of Being Stooges Will Be Harder To Shake.
Golf has long been burdened with clichés that are more heavily trafficked than the 405 at rush hour, and yet the sport’s lingua franca manages to grow still more insipid and hollow by the day.
To our catalog of greatest hits—‘One shot at a time,’ ‘Take dead aim,’ and ‘Growing the game’—we can now add ‘Not a politician,’ the deflection of choice among professional golfers competing at next month’s Saudi International.Continue reading “Saudi-Bound Golfers Brush Off Politics, But Stain Of Being Stooges Will Be Harder To Shake.”
Golf Faced Several Reckonings In 2021. We Should Expect Impacts To Last Far Beyond.
As we balance the ledger for 2021, it seems assured that a handful of the year’s most memorable moments will have impact that extends far beyond the confines of the calendar.
Like Hideki Matsuyama’s Masters win, and its promise of inspiring a generation of Asian talent. Or Phil Mickelson’s improbable major championship victory at age 50, setting a new benchmark for elderly excellence. Or Tiger Woods’ car wreck, which cast in stark relief the impermanence of lives and careers, and which summoned a raw appreciation both for what he has gifted us and for whatever his battered body will permit henceforth.
But 2021 was also a year in which even the most stubborn of ostriches had to lift their heads and concede that golf doesn’t exist in a vacuum, that like every sport it is inextricably entwined with the wider world, and that reminders of this fact are often jarring. The painful lessons we learned in ’21 will not conclude with the demise of December.Continue reading “Golf Faced Several Reckonings In 2021. We Should Expect Impacts To Last Far Beyond.”
PGA Tour Should Concede Waivers Battle For Sake Of Bigger War—Against A Saudi Takeover.
The PGA Tour has a month to decide whether to remain focused on a game of cat and mouse it is positioned to win, or instead be suckered into a game of chicken it would almost certainly lose.
Until January 4, to be exact—30 days out from the first round of the Saudi International, by which point it must decide whether to grant releases to members who want to compete in the Kingdom.Continue reading “PGA Tour Should Concede Waivers Battle For Sake Of Bigger War—Against A Saudi Takeover.”
Brooks Vs. Bryson Showdown In Vegas A Bust For Fans, But Not For The PGA Tour.
Las Vegas exists to distort reality, whether briefly enough to separate cocksure gamblers from their chip stacks or long enough to market a bejeweled Liberace as every housewife’s dream. So it was with The Match, in which two men who share a genuine antipathy circled each other like a pair of chummy middle managers at a company holiday party, exchanging compliments that made up in diplomacy what they lacked in sincerity, and betraying nothing more belligerent than an eye-roll.
Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka conducted themselves as any two strangers randomly paired for a Friday game might, piloting separate carts and saying little beyond “Nice putt” and “That’s good.” The last time Vegas witnessed two high-profile men be so taciturn about their common business, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky were running the Strip.Continue reading “Brooks Vs. Bryson Showdown In Vegas A Bust For Fans, But Not For The PGA Tour.”