Greetings Golfers,

Obviously this year has been ripe for conspiracy theories. How’s this one – Netflix created the virus so we all have to stay home and watch television?

Works for me. I’m embarrassed to say how many shows I’ve seen on Netflix … I need an excuse for my behavior … I’ll blame it on Netflix.

So, the hot show on Netflix is “The Queen’s Gambit” … a show about an orphan girl who excels at chess. I was resistant to watch it … I’m not a chess player … and it sounded like it might be depressing and cheesy.

Actually, it’s fascinating and hilarious. Not joke funny … but funny because the tone is light and likable. Fascinating … because chess is all about strategy and what it takes to be a world class strategist.

Our hero – Beth Harmon – can visualize the chessboard in her mind and play the game in her head. And, she’s obsessed … it’s basically all she ever thinks about.

Ok … how does this relate to golf? I know, you’ve already gone there … probably from the title of the blog or by the third paragraph. Golf is a game of strategy. And, it’s good to play golf holes in your head.

Well designed golf holes have interesting risk-reward strategies. Obviously the architect needs to work with the terrain and is limited in what can be done … but there is always a need for strategy.

Since we’re talking about television … what’s with televised golf? Ugh. Especially here in America. Very little emphasis on strategy. The coverage just jumps around from hole to hole … either showing the leader hit a shot … or a random player hitting an unusually skillful or lucky shot … or just people making putts.

That type of coverage would be about as interesting if chess tournaments were televised and they jumped around from match to match showing random moves and then just showing a lot of checkmates. If the matches were not followed in sequence, the moves are basically meaningless, especially the final move. Everything is out of context.

However, last weekend, I watched a Professional Golf Tournament in South Africa and the coverage was excellent. They actually followed groups and analyzed the strategies for their next shots. Hurrah!

Televised golf tournaments should be focusing on what makes golf fascinating – the strategy. They have the ability to make it more interesting than if you were there trying to follow some players. The cameras can scan the holes and set-up the action in a way that you never could as a walking spectator. And, it allows the time between shots for interesting commentary about the wind, lie, and other factors relating to the strategy.

Well, maybe we need a Netflix show about an orphan who becomes a golf champion. Certainly, the show would focus on the playing of golf holes so we could see what our hero has to overcome. Hopefully, that would wake up network coverage of golf.

Maybe, Netflix has to take over televised golf coverage. That’s a conspiracy theory I’d be happy to start.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional

Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351