Masters Week is Now the Only Time Golf is Mainstream Relevant
Yup, the day after the NCAA Tournament Ends rings in Golf's biggest week.
While hardcore golf fans will tell you the U.S Open is a huge deal and so is the PGA Championship and Tour Championship---golf fans are pretty much alone in that thought.
The only tournament in the entire lineup that resonates with the casual fan and will get almost anyone looking for some sports to watch on TV to stop changing channels is The Masters.
It's the ONE event on the golf calendar that is promoted and endlessly talked about during the week of the event. And to be perfectly honest, it's a HUGE event for people to try and be a part of.
The hardcore golf fans will tell you it's great watching the Open's (U.S. and British), the fact is no other tournament resonates like the Masters. With good reason.
The tournament is played at the same place every year--Augusta National.
On a big screen HDTV/4K TV, the golf course jumps off the screen, the bright green fairways and greens, blooming Magnolia's, Dogwoods, flowers everywhere---the course is a botanists dream.
The practice rounds are a prize for fans--an opportunity to get close to and see the guys playing. Even if you don't know who they are, the massive crowds (a.k.a. "Patrons") alone can tell you who is a big deal.
Golf as a sport may have peaked in the 2000's with the rise of Tiger Woods driving TV ratings and excitement over the game. As Tiger went, so did the coverage and over the past 10-years, he's been largely missing. Which has hurt if for no other reason than Golf coverage has not helped develop a new "Marquee" golfer, the "Superstar" who drives attention for everyone.
Which is unfortunate---but in a world currently overrun and pre-occupied by Twitter and Social Media in general, attention spans are short. Very short.
Golf is not a game or event for those with short attention spans. It never will be. The game is made for long, sweeping shots and walks up and down the course. The pace of play is not fast---a typical round lasts four-plus hours for anyone playing or watching the game.
It's very hard to hold an audience on TV for 4-hours anymore.
Listen, I've got plenty of friends and am in the age demographic where I can sit there and watch. But we're in the minority these days. Golf ratings will draw a 1.0 or so for a run-of-the-mill tournament, but the Masters will draw a 6 or 7 and sometimes more.
So Masters fans rejoice! Your week is upon us. The tournament always runs the week after the Final Four, you can set your yearly schedule around it.
For sure, you can bet there will be plenty of drama, plenty of long, sweeping shots of the course. There will be lots of waxing nostalgic by Jim Nantz and the entire CBS Sports team. It's what they do.
For Sports fans in general, it's like I said in the headline, the one time golf is still relevant in the sporting discussion. Eat it up folks---Masters week is here!