WHY THERE IS A GOLF CHANNEL
Two reasons. The simplest first:
Although televised golf may have a small viewing audience, due to its relatively boring visual nature, it has by far the richest. This is why, not only is every major golf tournament televised, there is an entire 24 hr. network dedicated to it, whose ad roster reads like the Fortune 500. By the end of every damn tournament I want to chug a Heineken, go get a Verizon phone and call my Smith Barney rep to finance a new Lexus.
Soccer, which probably has a billion more fans worldwide, gets no love from the Networks. Television is, as I have to often explain, a business. Not a magic happy box that sits in one's living room. It's about selling product to viewers. Botswanans kicking around the heads of their formal rivals- probably not looking to smart-lease that Jaguar when they gather ‘round the village TV to watch the World Cup.
The second reason is a little more obscure, and for any soccer fans reading, I'll type slow. Despite golf’s ‘elitist’ reputation, it is actually the only professional sport in existence that basically anyone can play- anytime they want. Granted, it takes money, but try to take a 10 million dollar check to the NFL and ask to run a few plays with your favorite team this Sunday. For a couple of hundred bucks, I can go play the EXACT same game Tiger Woods plays. Hell, for $35 I can go play where he won the 2002 U.S. Open. Try getting in a few rounds of professional hockey. Basketball? “Hey Carmello- Winners?” Horse racing? Baseball? Even sports like Volleyball and Tennis, while essentially identical to the professional game, involve beating a professional opponent. “Hey Andre- volley for serve?”
Golf involves you, and a course. A field of grass with holes in it. The same damn hunk o’ turf Tiger plays on. Not to mention that in any "Open" tournament, you can compete in local qualifying tournaments, and actually play in the televised finals, right along with Tiger. Even if you are 55 and fat. Of course, that requires being really, really good.
So while this may have been one of the most boring articles ever written, like the Golf Channel, it has its place and purpose. Think of it the next time you let out the oh too familiar “Golf on TV?! You have GOT to be kidding?!?” shriek as we huddle around the set, and get ready to watch the masters play our favorite game.