Golf viewership numbers have decreased as a whole since Tiger Woods’ struggles began in 2014. Woods was a main factor in the sport becoming so popular not only with a younger audience, but also with casual fans. Woods missed all of last season after undergoing multiple back surgeries, and according to one man, who as far as I’m concerned has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about, the sport has been “garbage” without him.
That man is Snoop Dogg, or Snoop Lion, or whatever he goes by these days, who is apparently “close friends” with Woods.
“It’s a beautiful thing that Tiger Woods is coming back, because the sport of golf is GARBAGE without him.”
“Nobody watches it, the ratings went down, it ain’t what fly as it used to be. He was the flavor. He was the seasoning salt. It’s just like some Shake ‘n Bake chicken now. You understand me?”
Yes, overall numbers for the PGA Tour have been down. Forty of the 64 events broadcast on CBS, NBC, and Fox declined in ratings or viewership.
That is not great, but over the last two seasons we’ve seen a 22-year-old Jordan Spieth win back-to-back major championships, narrowly miss a playoff in one major and finish second in another in one season. We saw the best player in the world, Jason Day, win not only his first major tournament but also five other tournaments in one season with four of those coming over six starts in one season. We saw an epic Jordan Spieth collapse on the back nine at Augusta, another great player in Dustin Johnson dominate and win his first major championship, and a Ryder Cup that was so spectacular it posted the second best Sunday ratings since 2002.
Snoop has a point about the ratings, but that doesn’t mean the sport sucks. Golf is definitely NOT garbage with Tiger Woods, it’s just different. There are new names appearing weekly that people don’t know yet and Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner who is only 27 years old, just won the Tour Championship that had a final round rating of 1.9, a 24% increase on Sunday over 2015. According to SportsMediaWatch, that is the highest number for the final round of the Tour Championship since 2012.
For the casual fan, no Tiger means they aren’t watching and they aren’t seeing guys like Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy weekly. It means they didn’t watch 47-year-old Phil Mickelson shoot an opening round 63 and final round 65 at the Open Championship and still lose. They didn’t see Justin Thomas, Smylie Kaufman, Kevin Kisner, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Russell Knox, Henrik Stenson, and Patrick Reed, among others, collect wins.
To those of us who love the sport of golf, the last two years have provided plenty of excitement.
Would it be great to see Tiger out there at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday’s? Hell yes, but it was also nice to not see him out there shooting 80, chunking chips, and throwing clubs. While I am a fan of Tiger, I don’t want to see him make a return to the sport unless he’s ready for it and when that time comes, I don’t expect to see the dominating force that Snoop Dogg is likely expecting.
Tiger has said that he plans to make his return at the Hero World Challenge in December.