Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Jay Busbee and head writer Shane Bacon take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by writing firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit us on Twitter at @jaybusbee and @shanebacon. Today, we're talking about the endless sport of golf, and if it really could use an offseason at some point in the year.
Busbee: Look, we all love golf. It's why we're reading (and, in our case, writing) about it while we're not actually playing it. But does the sport need more of a true offseason? We're less than five weeks from the start of the 2012 PGA Tour season. Hell, we're barely a WEEK from the start of the 2012 European Tour season. There are only a finite number of weekends in the year, and I get that, but you know the old cliche about absence making the heart grow fonder. Does golf need to take a little more time off so we can miss it more?
Bacon: While I think you make a good point that time away might make us want to snuggle up to the game even more, I actually think it is one of the few sports that can do this and get away with it. Not everybody plays in every event, so we do get a chance to miss some of the bigger names. While this fall has seemed a bit excessive in terms of big names playing (China, Australia, Presidents Cup, Chevron), this is about the time when golf dies down for a few weeks before picking back up. What I would like to see? The events, like Chevron, Presidents Cup and Omega, moved to late September or even October. Give us November and December to dazzle in the occasional random event that's fun to watch and give the European Tour more exposure. It needs it, right?
Busbee: We've talked before about the idea of "event fatigue," and that's exactly what's going on now with all these events hitting at the same time. This, I guess, is the price we pay for a global game (and if "price we pay" = more golf, that is seriously a #1stworldproblem). I'd love to see the European Tour get some more exposure, especially some of the characters that are on that Tour, but it's like soccer -- no matter how much the rest of the world loves it, until these players come stateside they're effectively invisible.
Put bluntly, though: are there too many golf tournaments?
Bacon: Yes. Too many. I think that's one of the funny things about the Omega people complaining about the World Cup being on when it's on. There isn't any other time to have that tournament! Where is it going? Fall Series? West Coast Swing? Summer? I actually thought stateside the event did well because it was on so late. But yes, to your initial question, too many golf tournaments and too many random events. (honestly, what is this Chevron event anyway? Does anyone know? It's just there.)
But, this is a business of independent contractors, and I'm sure they love the availability of golf tournaments year-round because it means more bucks in their pockets.
Busbee: And it keeps us busy, too. Shoot, it's better than writing about lockouts or drafts.
I worry about the game's future as a spectator sport just because there's so much noise; outside the majors, it's just a constant din for the casual fan. All of the events and swings and tours we've mentioned here are mind-boggling to a fan who's accustomed to one sport, a few divisions, a playoff to settle it all. Still, the flip side of that is that if people want to tune in for just the Big Four, let 'em. The best will find their way to the top regardless.
Bacon: And the good thing is, a year-round schedule gives John Daly more chances to withdraw! Win-win.
Now your thoughts ... is golf too long of a season, or is it fine the way it is?