Golf needs more of what took place Sunday

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning put on a show this past Sunday. The televised broadcast of the foursome was incredibly unique. All four players were mic’d up, had cameras in each of their golf carts, and would occasionally converse with the broadcast crew. Watching it felt as if the viewers were on the course right along with the group. I am a fan of golf. I have watched a lot of great tournaments. Yet, this may have been my favorite event to date.

The Match was special. In fact, it was so special that it broke a viewership record. According to Turner Sports, this was the most watched golf event in cable television history. You could not have scripted something so perfect. It had everything a fan could have asked for. Featuring Tiger playing almost a perfect round of golf, comic relief from Chuck Barkley in the booth, as well as some phenomenal golf shots. But most of all, great competition by some of the best to ever do it.   

Phil Mickelson reads the green for what looks to be his caddy but is actually Tom Brady

This match was not a one hit wonder. Television networks and the PGA would be foolish to assume it is.  Instead, these parties need to discover how to put together more events like this. The PGA has an abundance of personalities right now. Many of whom would be a great fit in a similar scenario. Even after the world returns to normalcy, events like this will generate another revenue stream. It will be great publicity for the game, as well as boost viewership numbers.

These events work, but a random celebrity cannot be put on the course. The chosen athletes/celebrities must still be well above average golfers. After all, Tom Brady is good at golf. He was playing throughout a torrential downpour. He lasered one in from about 150 yards out. He sank a couple clutch putts. On top of that, his golf swing is more fluid than yours. Still, he took heat from social media about his game. This tells me a few things. For one, fans want to see personalities shine through in these broadcasts. However, fans still need quality golf.

With that, here is a list of the six most entertaining athletes to put on a golf course:

NFL’s Aaron Rodgers and NBA’s Steph Curry at the American Century Championship, 2019.
  • Tony Romo (Handicap 0): Romo is the defending “best celebrity golfer” according to his back-to-back American Century Championship wins in 2018 and 2019. Romo would be a great personality to have on, considering after his retirement from the NFL in 2017, he became on an on-camera lead analyst and media personality with CBS.
  • Michael Jordan (Handicap 1.9): With all the recent media attention Jordan has been getting, this is an obvious selection. Jordan is a fierce competitor. Michael has burst back onto the television scene with the release of documentary “The Last Dance.” Getting to watch Mike play in live competition is a feat that sports fans deserve – especially the younger generations who never got that opportunity.
  • Steph Curry (Handicap 0): Steph is the best golfer in this field. A guy who I believe would steal the show. We have seen Steph in plenty of Pro-Ams.  He can compete with the best of them. Curry would likely impress the viewers with how polished his game is.
  • Johnny Football (Handicap 6): I was shocked when I saw Johnny Manziel has a golf handicap of 6. He doesn’t exactly pass the eye test of being a good golfer. Apparently, he can find his way around a course. And this would be incredible television. Would Manziel be shot gunning beers by hole 3, or would he keep his focus out there? Manziel was once an athlete who dominated sports headlines. It would certainly be entertaining to have him back in the spotlight for an afternoon.  
  • Aaron Rodgers (Handicap 4.3): I must admit, I am a bit biased as listing Rodgers in my top 5 here. Unless you are a fan of the Green Bay Packers, he may not be a guy that the fans would want to see in a golf event. Rodgers is rather stand-offish when it comes to the media sometimes. However, his competitive nature is why I justified listing him here. We have all seen Rodgers become visibly upset with his teammates when they fail to do their job. Would he have the same attitude with the professional that he is paired up with? Or would he be the lighthearted Rodgers that we see on social media from time to time? I think there is enough appeal to put him in a televised match.
  • Larry Fitzgerald (Handicap 5.7): Fitzgerald is a guy who I would love to see more of. At age 36, Fitzgerald has announced he will be coming back for one more year of football. Fitzgerald seems like a great guy. I just don’t know much about him. I’d like to see his personality shine through. That is why I would love to get Larry in an event like this.  

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