Has CoViD-19 given a glimpse into a unique opportunity for golf?

The Match: Champions For Charity

The Match: Champions For Charity

Like most, I am ready for "real sports" to return. MLB, NHL, NBA and of course football in the Fall. And when I say "real" I mean with fans, in the stands, and looking normal.

But... in these uncertain times (tired of that term) we do have a chance to make some tweaks and changes and see what things look like out of the box. The NBA and NHL seem certain to do so with pod cities or one central location to finish their season and playoffs for example. But something caught my attention this weekend that could be fun and different for a sport I love, golf.

But first, let me state this. I am a golf snob. Not in a country club, exclusive and at times divisive way but I do think there are things that make the game different and special as opposed to a pickup basketball game or beer league softball. In my mind, wearing a shirt with a collar, no jeans, and adhering to the basic etiquette of the game is not too much to ask.

So was I watched Sunday's "The Match: Champions for Charity" featuring some of the greatest athletes of our time a lot of things came to mind. At times the event was entertaining, at times slow and methodical and meaningless, and at times at least slightly competitive. At one point I found myself questioning the "no caddie" rule which seemed to be based more on optics than anything else. After all, there is a pretty good chance your caddie is in your so-called bubble of close friends so any risk is small.

But here is what came to mind, just as a golf fan. I would actually like to see a tournament, one per year maybe, on the PGA Tour, without caddies. Let the players take a cart as a trade off for someone not carrying their enormous tournament style bags. Or they could use a push cart if the course is an easy walk. In fairness, years ago I was one who didn't agree with the decision for Casey Martin to take a cart-I felt the walk was part of the challenge of playing for ALL players. But watching Sunday's event something came to mind. As a golfer, I was entertained by watching Phil and Tiger, as touring pros, grab their radar and shoot and decide on their own what club to use and where to go with the shot. Once a year, this style, in my mind would be interesting and fun.

Now let me emphasize this would be a one off. Once a year. There is one tournament a year that uses the Stableford scoring system so why not one tourney where the caddies get a week off and the players actually have to play the game like the rest of us? Make your own club selection decision and live with it. The next week Greller and company can return and we can get back to one of the greatest lines/complaints in golf from Jordan Spieth "Oh...Michael, it should have been a seven iron!"

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