Let's go back in time. It's 1979, a time when there were only 3 channels on the television, and 2 of them required an acrobatic manuever with a metal rod called an antenna.
Sports on TV were baseball, football and basketball...stock car racing was an unknown "sport" to the masses, and was only followed in backwater daily's, and niche magazines.
That all changed after "the fight".
My idol in my youth was Cale Yarborough, a fast...hard-as-nails driver, who's grit and desire to win was usurped only by his determination.
It was The Daytona 500, and that race was the first entirely televised broadcast of its sport. Coming down turn 4, Cale and Donnie Allison got into a crash crowding each other for the lead. Both spun-out in the grass...got out of their cars...and proceeded to beat each other's heads in with their helmets. While this trackside brawl was going on...Richard Petty went on to win the race.
It was the greatest sports event I ever saw on television.
What that race did, was start NASCAR into it's ascent in becoming the most-watched, televised sport, in our era.
And that's what golf needs...a fight.
We could have had one at Turning Stone. That first-year tournament, started and finished without a whimper...but it could have been so much more.
John Daly was there...rumored to have spent more time in the casino than the actual 7 holes he played in. Too bad for the fans, as he was knighted the headliner after (surprise) no star-studded players entered.
Rumored to have won 200G's the night before the tournament at the tables, he partied the night and early morning away...leaving him one (craps)-y hangover.
So this is what should have happened:
The players in his group should have confronted him on that 7th hole. Never Compromise putters should have been drawn...Daly could have drawn them back with his 540cc driver.
Sparks should have flown, fists should have been raised, clubs...instead of helmets...should have been broken over heads.
But none of that happened..instead Daly walked away with his 5th WD this season a little richer, and his fans a little poorer. No more than a side-note in the papers followed. Folks just got on with their lives...and the little town in Verona moved on.
Golf is a "gentleman's" game...and maybe that's the problem.
...its time that "gentleman" met its 'turn 4"
Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,
A fight in golf is bound to happen. I was just in Ireland (for the first time) and playing at Ballybunion Golf Club when 2 guys started cursing up a storm at each other, everyone stopped and looked waiting... but nothing. I will keep my eyes peeled and let you know of the first rumble.
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