Once upon a time, sports were played for the love of the game. The best in the world were amateurs … the Olympics, the US Amateur in golf and tennis, college sports, etc.
Then, businessmen saw a market … sort of a version of the Barnum & Bailey Circus … and created pro sports.
Professional baseball was the leader of the pack. The NFL, NBA, and NHL didn’t really bloom until the 1960s.
Not surprisingly, in Major League Baseball’s early years, the 1919 World Series was rocked by a betting scandal involving some of the players – the tarnished Chicago “Black Sox”.
When sports are about money instead of honor … cheating scandals are bound to happen.
Professional golf has never been hit with such scandals … it’s not a big betting game for the fans, like it is with the NFL. Probably, more fans care about who wins the Super Bowl because of their bets than the game itself.
Fortunately, most people care about the Masters and US Open for the golf itself, rather than because they are betting on the players.
So, what’s the deal with the FedEx Cup? Does the enormous prize money make you care? Obviously, I can see why the players care … but do you care?
If that’s the motivation … why not just watch people flip a coin to see who wins? I want to watch skill and strategy … I don’t care about how much money they’re playing for.
Even for my own game … I play for the fun and challenge of golf. We all enjoy winning a few bucks or a pro shop chit … but if that’s why we play golf … well, I think that’s missing the beauty of the game.
The love of the game. I hate to see it cluttered up at any level – major league or a friendly round of golf.
GM/Head PGA Professional
Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386