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Is it really all about the majors?

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Watching the Solheim Cup over the weekend was refreshing.  Here are a group of the best players in the world, playing for nothing more than bragging rights and competitive spirit.  It was amazing to watch and money, FedEx Cup points or rankings was never mentioned.  To me, that's why watching the NCAA championships is better than watching any PGA Tour event.  It's never about obscene amounts of cash.  It's about competitive spirit.
 


I couldn’t agree more.

There are few things I enjoy as much was watching women’s sports. The USWNT, Olympic Hockey and the NWHL.

There is a purity and an essence of team and family that is rarely seen in men’s sports.
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@sixcat - The Master’s didn’t become a major organically - it was extremely contrived. Having written that I’m not an advocate of the Players as Major and agree that it feels like the Tour tried to cram that one down our throats.

 

We disagree on Sawgrass that’s established so no sense to rehash old debates. The fact remains that Sawgrass is generally highly rated and that as both courses are currently constituted it allows for a far greater group of potential winners than Augusta which is both a course and the host of a tournament designed to favor a certain player type - long, highly rated, high ball hitter. Only an act of God (cold and windy weather) changes that.

 

I agree that in Jones’ day there was not an emphasis on what we think of as majors. In fact in Jones’ day it wasn’t a big deal to be a pro. Once the Masters became known as a Major in the mid 30’s though the four have been locked in. Both the Open and the PGA have had struggling moments but each has prevailed.

 

The Westerns (Open and Amateur) have storied histories.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

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59 minutes ago, revkev said:

@sixcat - The Master’s didn’t become a major organically - it was extremely contrived. Having written that I’m not an advocate of the Players as Major and agree that it feels like the Tour tried to cram that one down our throats.

 

We disagree on Sawgrass that’s established so no sense to rehash old debates. The fact remains that Sawgrass is generally highly rated and that as both courses are currently constituted it allows for a far greater group of potential winners than Augusta which is both a course and the host of a tournament designed to favor a certain player type - long, highly rated, high ball hitter. Only an act of God (cold and windy weather) changes that.

 

I agree that in Jones’ day there was not an emphasis on what we think of as majors. In fact in Jones’ day it wasn’t a big deal to be a pro. Once the Masters became known as a Major in the mid 30’s though the four have been locked in. Both the Open and the PGA have had struggling moments but each has prevailed.

 

The Westerns (Open and Amateur) have storied histories.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

That very well may be true of the Masters becoming a Major.  Several books offer insight into how the Masters came to be considered a Major.  Most disagree or can't offer definitive proof as to where, when and how it began.  I suspect, the golf universe forced the issue out of admiration for Bobby Jones.  One thing all of those sources agree upon is, the Masters wasn't considered a Major until sometime around 1960 when Arnold Palmer listed his "modern grand slam" events, not the 1930's as you suggest.  You can read a snippet of that in the attached link.

Regardless of how the Masters became a Major, it certainly holds the respect and adoration of the golf world today.  The Players simply isn't on equal footing!  At least not in my estimation.  For that matter, why wouldn't the BMW be considered on equal footing with The Players?  It has an equally elite field, more storied history, exceptional host facilities and is considered by everyone not from the US to be just a notch below The Open.

https://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/tour/us-masters/augusta-blog/why-is-the-masters-a-major-152766

 

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In answer to the thread question, no I don't think this is the case... at least for the majority of fans/viewers.  One thing to consider is how much has changed in televised golf.  It wasn't until the late 70's that any network covered a complete 18 hole round. With the subsequent addition of ESPN in 1979 and TGC in 1995, coverage of tour events blossomed. Add to that coverage of the LPGA, European, and Asian tours, and we now have, seemingly, 24/7 coverage.  This may lead to viewer fatigued for some and heighten the interest in the majors. This is like the Division and League series in baseball which also get more viewers - but for the true baseball (golf) fan it isn't all about those events. One fans ramblings... 🙂

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26 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

In answer to the thread question, no I don't think this is the case... at least for the majority of fans/viewers.  One thing to consider is how much has changed in televised golf.  It wasn't until the late 70's that any network covered a complete 18 hole round. With the subsequent addition of ESPN in 1979 and TGC in 1995, coverage of tour events blossomed. Add to that coverage of the LPGA, European, and Asian tours, and we now have, seemingly, 24/7 coverage.  This may lead to viewer fatigued for some and heighten the interest in the majors. This is like the Division and League series in baseball which also get more viewers - but for the true baseball (golf) fan it isn't all about those events. One fans ramblings... 🙂

The baseball analogy is a good one.  I believe there is some viewer fatigue in my personal feelings toward golf and baseball.  I'm very much a traditionalist.  I'm fine with an AL/NL Championship Series but does a third place divisional team really deserve to make the playoffs?  It's happened.  There's a strong possibility it could happen again this year with the Cardinals, Brewers and Cubs.

I have always been resistant to authority.  Having the Tour and TV tell me The Players is on equal footing with the Majors is going to naturally force me to push back hard the other way.  

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Every players sees success differently.  Those just starting out are looking to maintain their card and compete for a win.  Getting close to a win, their expectations change to winning any event where they tee it up.  

Let's look at Koepka, since this this thread seems to be about him.  I watch the European Tour early on weekend mornings in bed with coffee and Baileys at 5am.  OK, it's a habit, I admit!!  I had no idea who Koepka was until he won on the European Tour.  He started on the Challenge Tour and got to the European Tour by winning 3 events.  Yes, he won several events to get to the PGA Tour, and I applaud him for taking the playing route to the PGA Tour rather than going through Q School.  Although his first PGA Tour win, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, was in 2015, he was finishing high in the majors.  He was 4th at the US Open and 15th and the PGA in 2014 and 10th at The Open and 5th at the PGA in 2015.  Clearly, his game suits playing on tough courses against the best players.  

Most everyone says it's all about the majors, and that's what it has been for Tiger.  Yes, Tiger has won a bunch of other tournaments, but I'm fairly certain that Tiger teed it up early in his career at events to hone his game in competition to prepare for the majors.  Maybe Koepka doesn't feel like he needs that same preparation; certainly his strategy seems to be working.  If he can be competitive in majors while not playing in a lot of other events, I like his chances to remain healthy throughout his career.  He will win plenty of other events if he gets close to the lead.  I don't understand why the media needs to harp on it.  Let him play however he wants, and I will enjoy watching.

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On ‎9‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 9:14 AM, sixcat said:

That very well may be true of the Masters becoming a Major.  Several books offer insight into how the Masters came to be considered a Major.  Most disagree or can't offer definitive proof as to where, when and how it began.  I suspect, the golf universe forced the issue out of admiration for Bobby Jones.  One thing all of those sources agree upon is, the Masters wasn't considered a Major until sometime around 1960 when Arnold Palmer listed his "modern grand slam" events, not the 1930's as you suggest.  You can read a snippet of that in the attached link.

Regardless of how the Masters became a Major, it certainly holds the respect and adoration of the golf world today.  The Players simply isn't on equal footing!  At least not in my estimation.  For that matter, why wouldn't the BMW be considered on equal footing with The Players?  It has an equally elite field, more storied history, exceptional host facilities and is considered by everyone not from the US to be just a notch below The Open.

https://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/tour/us-masters/augusta-blog/why-is-the-masters-a-major-152766

 

With all due respect the Masters was most certainly considered a major when Sam Snead won it in 1949, well before Arnie.  No argument that it is respected by the golf world - my point simply is that it has a weaker field than a number of "regular" events and is therefore easier to win so long as you are one of the insiders - you essentially have a permanent invite to a tournament on a familiar course where at least 1/3 of a short field has no chance of winning.

 

I'm also not advocating for the Players as a major - four is plenty and the four that we have are as good as anything else that we'd be likely to come up with. 

 

Back on point at the top of the Golf World its far more about the Majors than anything else.  I realize there's a different thread for this but its gone dormant - I was watching Morning Drive this week and the contributor seemed pretty convinced that Brook's not being selected as Player of the Year was of a matter of personalities.  I don't know, I don't really care, its not unreasonable to have voted for Rory IMO, but it is important to note that someone on the inside (this guy was a player) thinks that's the case.

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With all due respect the Masters was most certainly considered a major when Sam Snead won it in 1949, well before Arnie.  No argument that it is respected by the golf world - my point simply is that it has a weaker field than a number of "regular" events and is therefore easier to win so long as you are one of the insiders - you essentially have a permanent invite to a tournament on a familiar course where at least 1/3 of a short field has no chance of winning.


I’ve never seen anything suggesting 1949 (or any year other than 1960) in print. I’m not disagreeing with you but I will need further proof. Having read several books including Curt Sampson’s, 1960 seems to be widely accepted.

I mention Curt Sampson because his book pulls no punches. It garnered him a lifetime ban from the tournament and facilities. For him to concede 1960 leaves little doubt in my mind of its accuracy.

Brandel Chamblee even suggests 1960 so it must be true, right?


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It depends on who you ask I guess.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/jon-rahm-is-winning-at-a-historic-rate-he-just-hasnt-won-a-major-yet/

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/pga-championship-2018-does-brooks-koepka-have-the-most-unusual-ratio-of-major-titles-to-pga-tour-wins

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/golf/article-5785983/Tiger-Woods-not-won-major-10-years-care-more.html

They even asked the Tour pros a question related to this thread at https://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/2018/09/12/anonymous-pga-tour-survey-tiger-woods-donald-trump/

Quote

WOULD YOU TAKE ONE MAJOR OR 10 TOUR WINS?

ONE MAJOR: 36%
10 TOUR WINS: 64%

“Depends if it’s 10 Puerto Rico Opens.”
“I’ll take history over padding my bank account.”
“Would you rather win $10+ million or $1.85 million in the lottery? All about the cash.”
“Which major?”

So even amongst Tour pros it depends on who you ask.  I would imagine that would be the consensus amongst the general public as well.

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