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Heroes and Villains

Greetings Golfers,

I’m sure that you’ve heard about the Patrick Reed controversy … maybe even heard more than you want to. Well, here’s some more anyway.

During this latest uproar, I read a funny article that described Reed as the villain you don’t love to hate – you just hate. Perfect. He’s not interesting. He’s just a jerk.

The article said that not only does the Tour not have interesting villains … it doesn’t have interesting heroes. I agree. Dustin Johnson? no. Justin Thomas? ok. Rory? almost. Ricky Fowler? nice.

The other night, my wife and I watched “Ford vs Ferrari”.  Very enjoyable. Because the main characters were really likable and interesting. The Ford executives? Not so much.

Well, it seems to me that the PGA Tour is trying to be those Ford executives. That’s not a good thing. Not for golf.

We don’t want fake drama like All-Star wrestling used to do with Verne Gagne and the boys … but we do want humanity … we want to know these guys.

Remember in the baseball movie “Bull Durham” when Costner tells the young pitcher going to the Major Leagues that when he gets to the “Show”, not to speak the truth … just say boring cliches when interviewed.

That can work for MLB or the NFL … those sports have a natural audience because they represent a city … people respond to that loyalty.

Well … the PGA Tour doesn’t have that … they have individuals. People need to relate to those players. It’s not enough that they’re good – they are really good. But, if they aren’t interesting … no one cares … not really.

Obviously, I’m making movie references … yeah, I’m watching too much TV lately … like most of us during this lock-down. All the more reason for the Tour to shine … people are watching television.

Here’s another movie analogy … if my wife and I don’t really like the main character … we don’t like the movie. We don’t care how much they “spice” it up with action, sex, exotic settings, etc … it doesn’t hold our interest … we don’t care.

Same with the Tour. If we don’t care about the players … it’s hard to care about how they play. However, the PGA and its sponsors are afraid that some guys will be “out of bounds”. Maybe that would be a good thing … there would be real villains. We’re grownups … we can handle it.  And, we would like to see real heroes. Not those made for TV vignettes they show during the Olympics … we want to see real human beings. Some will be heroes … some will be villains … some will be boring.

But at least they won’t be robots. People trying to turn humanity into robots are the real villains.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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