Apparently Tiger Woods is the Only Reason People Watch Golf on TV
It appears this is the one and only face of Golf anyone is willing to watch....
Yup, Tiger Woods is to steal a cliche' "Da Man" when it comes to TV ratings. Apparently nobody else really matters.
It explains why last weekend at the Honda Classic, the first person we all saw and heard reaction from after the highlights ran was not the winner, Justin Thomas--but rather Mr. Woods.
It also explains how Golf is back in the rotation when it comes to highlights in Sports segments in TV broadcasts nationwide.
Which yeah, is all well and good...but...there are a litany of questions here:
--Clearly this is not the Tiger Woods of the late 1990's and early 2000's. He has not won a tournament in 5 years and has been in the Top 10 once in that same period of time.
--There are other highly talented golfers--Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, John Rahm and others. But none seem to scream "Must Watch TV"....
--What happens when Woods is officially gone. Which while he's "back" this year, with his injury history he could go away in the blink of an eye....
Here are some numbers for you to ponder (from The Sporting News)
--The Final Round of The Honda Classic was up 43% in 2018 over 2017. The one difference: Tiger played
--Woods has played in 2 other tournaments this year. Both grew their TV audience. Like double figure increase grew their audience.
But....there's some question as to whether Mr. TV Viewing will play in March. The Masters is not far away (April 5-8) and there's speculation Woods will spend the next month fine tuning his swing and practicing for Golf's biggest event.
Sponsors for the next run of tournaments all are crossing their fingers. 2 events are in Florida, 2 in Texas with the Match Play tournament in Mexico City this coming week (he's definitely not playing in Match Play tourney)....
Golf is in a difficult place right now. With Woods, publicity, crowds, TV ratings and money grew exponentially in the last 20-years. But Tiger is getting older. He's 42-years old now. Clearly he doesn't NEED the money from golf and the injuries have taken a toll.
He's not the guy who just overpowered and intimidated the hell out of everyone else while drawing flocks of fans. But right now--he's all golf has got.
Golf tournaments usually do ok the 1st part of the year when the only competition is College Basketball and The NBA. But once baseball is added to the mix in April and the NBA hits their playoffs---the golf audience traditionally fades. And by the time football kicks off in August---golf is rendered largely irrelevant.
It should be obvious to the "Powers that Be" in the sport they need to find another "Superstar/TV Draw". And really they've got some supremely talented guys hoping to be "The Man". But it's also abundantly clear at this point none of them are the same draw as Tiger.
And that's a problem they need to fix. Fast.....