Golf Digest was busy on social media yesterday having a little fun with Charles Barkley’s scorecard.
Obviously, this captured people’s attention and as always golf is a game of total contradiction.
On one hand, Dicks Sporting Goods just fired all their PGA pros to cut cost on a declining golf business they acquired. As well, Taylormade/Addidas, a major advertiser in every issue of GolfDigest is lamenting the lack of growth, creating a Hack Golf initiative and suggesting things like a pizza pie cup. On the other, attacking golfers who are struggling to recover their game sends a pretty opposite message. Especially when one of the major barrier to golf for beginners is the intimidating factor of looking bad in front of better players.
Most of us are familiar with Sir Charles’ struggles in golf. As a bogey golfer, I have great respect and admiration for those of us who:
- Struggle from getting it to getting worse from one day to the next;
- Continue to challenge the game despite being embarrassed by their peers or by the game itself from time to time;
- Have the fortitude and grit to dust themselves off, stand back up, and face their own psychological demons.
In fact, I think I have even greater respect for Sir Charles more than ever. Who hasn’t faced first tee jitters with a bunch of judging eyes looking on from the clubhouse? Sir Charles does this x millions of eyes every time he plays in a tournament. There is some type of NBA-all-star-elite-level athlete mental toughness and determination in this man.
While I don’t believe Golf Digest is truly belligerent towards Charles, I do wonder who they think their target audience are? I’m thinking your scratch golfers will not be flipping through the magazine for tips on escaping the greenside bunker. If anything, I bet the average reader is a bogey golfer or worse, looking for little tidbits that might improve their enjoyment of the game and increase participation in this “declining game”.
In the end, it generated lots of discussions- a lot of facebookers think they can easily beat Charles but they forget that Charles did this in a tournament, adhering to the strict rules of golf, and probably have cameras and onlookers waiting to see his famous swing on every stroke. That’s quite a difference between us weekend warriors and our 3 ft gimmes and first tee mulligans!