The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 15

THE LAST WORD

Masters missed a chance to attract new golfers

S

pring, Pellucid's office manager and
accountant, is new to golf, which is
to say that she has yet to visit an
actual tee box. She has, however, swung a
club and whacked a few balls as part of a
company event at a TopGolf venue, and
via osmosis if nothing else, has become
aware of some of the issues currently facing golf. Like what is apparently one heck
of a lot of other viewers of the Masters
tournament, Spring doesn't play the game
(yet), but the allure of "a tradition unlike
any other" enticed her into tuning in for
the Masters telecast.
As Spring watched the "toonamint"
unfold amid the Georgia pines, she was
struck by the fact that there was no mention of golf participation promotional efforts other than promos for the annual
Drive, Chip and Putt competition which
culminates at the beginning of Masters
week at Augusta National. Spring, you
see, is continually exposed to lamentations from the rest of the Pellucid staffers
regarding the need to generate more new
golfers than those who leave the game,
or at the very least to entice the current
players to play more often. As a result, she
would notice the absence of any significant participation promotional spots.
Spring accurately noted that people
like herself who don't play but demonstrate some level of interest in the game
of golf by tuning in to the Masters every
year have ticked off at least one box as an
ideal target for pro-golf promotional advertising. While the Masters is famously
restrictive in terms of advertisers and
advertising interruptions of the telecast,
the club has also (ironically, given the extremely selective nature of its own membership recruitment efforts) become one
of the game's leading cheerleaders and
patrons. It seems likely that it would find
some TV time for a thoughtful grow-thegame promotional spot or two. Get Golf
Ready or similar participation promotions
might entice some people to at least give
the game a try, particularly since they have
demonstrated some of that "latent interest" famously and endlessly championed
by the NGF and WGF by tuning in to
The Golf Channel and/or CBS to watch

www.PellucidCorp.com

the Masters. Granted there are some who
have no interest in playing and never will,
or are unable to play the game, but given
the numbers of annual viewers, there have
to be some potential recruits in their number.

Captain America? Not at,
or in, Augusta.
I've been aware that Patrick Reed was
neither a fan favorite nor a member of the
in crowd of Tour players and BFFs (the
good meaning) such as Ricky Fowler, Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas who not
only famously go on "spring breaks" together but faithfully wait at the 18th green
to congratulate pals on their victories.
Needless to say, none were there to give
Patrick Reed a hug. It is significant that
the one player who waited around to do
so was Bubba Watson, who was the only
player voted less popular than Reed in a

Sometimes, actually many
times, we learn entirely too
much about people when
they are thrust into the full
spotlight of public attention.
survey of Tour players a while back. Bubba
knows what it feels like to be ostracized,
deservedly or not. He also knows what it's
like to survive the pressurized cauldron
that is Augusta National on Sunday. Perhaps there is something to the idea that the
ability to shut out the lack of regard from
peers and patrons and focus on the task
at hand is a bonus at the Masters. Lord
knows that Reed and Watson are not the
only Masters winners who wouldn't win
any popularity contests among their fellow
competitors. Think Nick Faldo and the
pre-injuries Tiger Woods for two, which
accounts for 7 green jackets.
Sometimes, actually many times, we
learn entirely too much about people
when they are thrust into the full spotlight
of public attention. I knew, for instance,
that Reed rubbed a lot of fans and players the wrong way when he announced,

after his third Tour win, that he considered himself one of the top 5 players in the
world. The world rankings didn't back up
that statement, and "cocky" became a staple in copy describing Reed. Frankly, that
was all I knew to explain the lack of peer
rapport that was obvious even as Reed was
earning the Captain America tag for his
performance and exuberance on the international scene at the Ryder Cup and
Presidents Cup.
Accordingly, it was distressing to learn
more about Reed's misbehavior at both
Georgia and Augusta State. That included a number of alcohol-related incidents
at both schools, which helped to get him
dismissed at Georgia and nearly did the
same at Augusta State except for the fact
that he was so good that the little school
won the NCAA tournament on his back.
He might have survived those incidents
when he turned pro, but his transgressions
included, allegedly, the dreaded accusation
of cheating during an internal competition
to determine the lineup for the next tournament match. A cheating accusation is
the golfing equivalent of herpes - it makes
people leery of close contact with you and
stays with you forever. To this day, some
30-plus years after he was accused and
banned from the Asian Tour, VJ Singh labors under the stigma of cheater no matter how many tournaments he wins and
how many hours he spends on the practice
tee. I suspect it is no accident that he was
the only Tour player publicly outed by the
Tour for his suspension for the use of deer
antler spray when others have failed doping tests and been silently fined with no
public shaming. The Tour does not forget,
and neither does VJ - he has steadfastly refused to settle his lawsuit against the Tour
for singling him out, and I suspect he'll
be able to name other players who were
punished in silence for similar doping
violations. I'm pretty sure that the courts
will eventually find that discrimination is
a no-no on the PGA Tour just as it is elsewhere. As a result, this particular (alleged)
cheater will prosper, at the Tour's expense,
and frankly he probably should. I suspect
Patrick Reed probably will too.
-Jim Dunlap

The Pellucid PersPecTive

15


http://www.PellucidcorP.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018

TOC
Digital technology a boon for instructors
The age of discrimination
What do Swiss watches and golf have in common?
March golf weather impact: Forgettable month, dismal quarter
Cincinnati operators holding their own
Masters missed a chance to attract new golfers
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - Digital technology a boon for instructors
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - The age of discrimination
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - What do Swiss watches and golf have in common?
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - March golf weather impact: Forgettable month, dismal quarter
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - Cincinnati operators holding their own
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - Masters missed a chance to attract new golfers
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