The numbers don’t lie. Major League Baseball opened their season this week and Sunday night baseball attracted 1.6 million viewers. The final round of the Schwab Open, played on June 11th, pulled in over three million watchers. Add that to an increase in golfers on public courses. We may have a new summer pastime, America.
Baseball has been a sport on the brink for decades. Spoiled millionaires, drug scandals, and corked bats have made is less of a family pastime and more of an afternoon soap opera experience. Personally, I’d rather watch a novella. Or a good action movie. Or maybe sit outside and watch cars go by. It is literally that boring for me.
The NBA also re-opened their season this week from “The Bubble” down on Orlando. Houston’s win over Milwaukee, the biggest game on the weekend slate, pulled in 2.18 million viewers. Even they beat out baseball, despite controversies over anthem kneel downs and star players opting out of the experience.
What’s the most popular sport for NBA players locked in the bubble? It’s not basketball. Lebron actually cancelled practice yesterday. No, the players are spending their free time playing golf. There were a few clips of them in the pool too, but it is Florida after all. You have to cool down somehow after a round of eighteen on the links.
Expect Changes to the Game
I’m already seeing a relaxing of some of the core rules. Dress codes are non-existent on public courses. Gimmes seem to have been extended out to a club length. Sand traps and bunkers have been taken out of play. Will these changes carry into future golf seasons? I certainly hope not. I like the game just the way it is.
Seasonal tournaments, unfortunately, have been cancelled at a number of clubs due to Covid-19 guidelines. For that reason, we’d like to ask you to please support your public golf courses. Playing a round or two away from your home club won’t hurt you. It might even be good practice. Some of those courses are tougher than the private ones. And you might meet one of these guys: