Why is Golf Trying so Hard to Woo Bros

Why is Golf Trying so Hard to Woo Bros?

Bryan McLean Opinion Comments

I’ll just come out and say it…#SB2K16 was stupid.  It started out with real promise, but soon devolved into a weird, forced exhibition of the worst of “millennial” behavior.  Early in the trip, Jordan (the leader), Rickie (the bad boy), Smylie (the cute one) and Justin (the other guy) had the makings of a perfect boy band, however, by day 2, a string of tequila brand mentions and super wacky dude poses gave me the feeling of a press junket.

Geoff Shackleford wrote about the trip this morning, seeming to take umbrage with the fact that these young men can no longer be looked up to by children.  Count me in the camp that no sports star is under any obligation to be a role model, but I absolutely echo his sentiment on the over the top fellatio from the seemingly bottomless soul of modern golf media.  How many hand stands and catch phrases do we have tolerate before we call a spade a spade and realize that most of us wouldn’t want to hang out with those guys?  I’m relatively young, but even at the tender age of 31, I really hate dude bros like I saw in those snaps all weekend.

A photo posted by Rickie Fowler (@rickiefowler) on

Simultaneous to #SB2K16 was an even more alarming event; Paige Spiranac was shooting a Golf Digest cover.

I don’t have anything against Paige, per se.  She seems like a nice girl who realizes her golf shortcomings and is cashing in on her looks while Instagram is a thing.  My issue is with golf’s longtime preeminent publication, it seems that big cans and the willingness to show them is the key to landing a cover on the Conde Nast rag these days.  Kate Upton, Paulina Gretzky and now Paige Spiranac are far more famous for their nearly naked exploits than their relationship with golf.  Meanwhile, Lydia Ko, who can’t even drink yet runs roughshod over the LPGA and can barely make SportsCenter.

A photo posted by Golf Digest (@golfdigest) on

This begs the question, why is this even a trend?  Golf never has been, nor will it ever be a sport for youngsters.  There are plenty of affluent kids who play throughout school, sure, but there is a reason business deals never get done on a basketball court or a baseball diamond.  It’s because golf is an incredibly difficult game with a high cost and an inherent exclusivity that makes the target demo skew naturally older.

I love that we have a fresh crop of young stars, and I really love that they are friends who love to party.  But for crying out loud, media, can we quit courting these people to a game they won’t pick up anyway?  Just enjoy these kids and the show they’re going to put on for the next decade and calm down with the naked chicks and “brocations.”


Cover Photo via Instagram

About Bryan McLean

Bryan McLean is a full-time Engineer and part-time golf writer from Seattle, WA. An unabashed nerd of golf course architecture and histroy, Bryan started his own website GolfbyBryan.com in 2012 where he covers all things golf throughout the Pacific Northwest.You can also find Bryan covering the PGA Tour at ProGolfNow.com and on twitter @golfbybryan, where he's likely ranting about absurd golf course designs.

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