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Question for older golf fans, re: golf media


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Tiger's rise came in my mid-teens, so I was a little too young to remember the "post-Jack, pre-Tiger" golf era all that well.  My question for some of you older posts is this --- was there as much obsession with up-and-coming great players being hailed as "the next Jack" or "next Arnie" and there is today with story after story hoping/describing Rory, Spieth, Day or even Fowler as "the next Tiger"?  I realize it may be different now since there's the internet and so much more chatter out there, but back in the day, were golf pundits a little more circumspect before hailing a guy as the next GOAT just for winning one major, or one big event?

It seems like the golf media is beyond desperate for a next Tiger in the sense of a singular, clear-cut world #1 that dominates the sport as Woods did.  In my opinion, isn't it better to have three or four huge guys (Rory, Spieth, Day, maybe Fowler if he nabs a major) to spread the wealth and attention a little bit, rather than pin all the focus on one guy?

From what I know of old-time golf media, there was certainly "next Nicklaus" buzz given to Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Lanny Wadkins, etc. but at least those guys actually had multiple spectacular seasons or victories under their belts before the hype train really took off.

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The media was not as pervasive and suffocating in the 60's-80's as it is now.

You are correct, they did talk about the next "one" and compared and waited for accomplished players to assume the mantle. I remember them guessing on a few young guys, too.

But the media has changed over the last 15 years ... they now create and drive the story, and there is so much media, that it suffocates and spreads gossip like a CA wildfire.

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I probably paid more attention to the golf media 10-15 years ago than I do today. Today's Media I don't put much stock in. For the most part I think they are more "gossip mongers" than journalists. In golf there is just not enough news to go around for all the golf journalist out there trying to sell a story, so they tend to be too creative for my liking. I don't think prying into athlete's personal lives is good journalism.

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I'm one of the older golf fans.  I remember when Tom Watson was labelled a "choker" who couldn't win a big tournament.  Obviously that turned out to be wrong.  I remember when Greg Norman was on top of the golf world, but his record in majors never quite lived up to his hype.  David Duval was thought to be destined to dominate golf, but couldn't quite hold on.  I think the media has always been looking for the next great player.  This difference now is that instead of just a couple of golf magazines and network television, we now have dozens of magazines, hundreds of blogs and websites, and full-time sports and golf channels on TV.  Instead of perhaps a dozen voices, we now have hundreds, and every one of them wants to say something that stands out.  The end result, nothing stands out.

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I always wondered what kind of info/dirt was in some of the golf media's closets. Too bad we don't have a branch of media who investigates, and reports on the media folks who are reporting to the public. :bugout:

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When Tiger hit the scene everything was about him. Big hype for good reason he was inspiring and good for golf at that time. He made a fortune for the tour players by doubling+ the purses at the tournaments. You couldn't turn on the TV without something about this young player.

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Pre Tiger golf wasn't as talked about. Less talk about everything.

That is true, but it isn't just because of the media.

The internet has a lot to do with it, and the advent of blogs, on-line reporting and (of course) messageboards

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From what I remember, Arnold Palmer, and television were made for each other. He was the darling of golf fans and television just loved him. As his persona grew, so did the attention around Nicklaus and other pros. I remember a few headlines that were, "Palmer Loses Another......", rather than (pick a named pro) won the tournament. It was a phenomenon. And a few pros were jealous of him, but when they saw the winnings increase, they began to enjoy the spoils. Same as when Nicklaus began to dominate, and as Palmer didn't win the majors, the media began the search for a "next Nicklaus". There was Weiskopf, Miller, Watson, Norman, just to name a few prominent ones. The television age always wanted to find the next exciting golfer that would break all the records and win dozens of major tournaments. Remember, Jack played against and won against these guys. He remained on top for a long time.

Golf will always want for heroes. The larger than life pro that can accomplish all this and have an over abundance of personality and charm. It is the nature of the game now.

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Not as much 20+ years ago, but that's a function of the news media needing to endlessly fill news cycles and having to drum up interest more these days.

The "Next Nicklaus" and "Best player to never have won a major" have been overdone as long as I can remember.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave2512

Pre Tiger golf wasn't as talked about. Less talk about everything.

That is true, but it isn't just because of the media.

The internet has a lot to do with it, and the advent of blogs, on-line reporting and (of course) messageboards

Very very true.  I do not think that the younger guys can really appreciate how incredibly LITTLE we heard about these guys in any context other than golf, and how incredibly little we actually got to see them play.

Consider that in most tournaments, if they were televised at all we generally only saw holes 15-18.  When in his prime, we saw every shot Tiger hit for 72 holes for every event he entered.  When Jack was in his prime we saw a few of his shots on the last 4 holes of some of the events he entered.

In some cases there was a little more, but not early in his career.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Wally Fairway

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave2512

Pre Tiger golf wasn't as talked about. Less talk about everything.

That is true, but it isn't just because of the media.

The internet has a lot to do with it, and the advent of blogs, on-line reporting and (of course) messageboards

Very very true.  I do not think that the younger guys can really appreciate how incredibly LITTLE we heard about these guys in any context other than golf, and how incredibly little we actually got to see them play.

Consider that in most tournaments, if they were televised at all we generally only saw holes 15-18.  When in his prime, we saw every shot Tiger hit for 72 holes for every event he entered.  When Jack was in his prime we saw a few of his shots on the last 4 holes of some of the events he entered.

In some cases there was a little more, but not early in his career.

true dat, i really think many don't understand how good we have it now...  back then, holes 16-18 only, and no coverage on weekdays...  you would sit there through the entire coverage to watch the leader hit 6 shots...

something that cannot be forgotten though...  all the sportswriters were buddies with (most of) the players (same as in other sports), and even though they knew the dirt, they certainly didn't dish it...

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I was born in 1950. When I started as a caddie in 1963, Snead and Hogan were elder statesmen, Palmer was still hot, and Nicklaus had just arrived on the scene..

Nicklaus was the dominant player from about 1964 until 1986 (his final Masters), with a couple of career slumps during the time. In 1990 he started playing the Senior Tour, won several of its majors, and had his 100th and final career pro win at the Tradition in 1995. Along the way, different groups of players were on the "short list" to probably win a tournament if Nicklaus didn't.

From 1958 to 1966, the Masters was largely a Palmer and Nicklaus saga. Palmer won it in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964. Nicklaus won it in 1963, 1965 and 1966. Art Wall won it in 1959, and Gary Player won it in 1961.

Media coverage tended to be breaking news (tournaments) and thoughtful features about golfers, equipment and golf courses. There wasn't much of the gossipy stuff you see today.

Also, you didn't see all the hyperbole and overblown pronouncements you see today. TV had far few hours of broadcast of actual tournaments, so there was "less air to fill."

And, journalists past of all media were much more happy to tell the story, not be the story.

The arrival and rocketing of Tiger Woods was unbelievable. He just had it all for awhile. It had to end sometime, especially with all the "Tiger 2.0" players that began emerging about 2005.

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Golf media just gets in the way of golf. If I turn on the tv to watch a tournament,95% of the time I'm watching adverts or a talking head.....and the talking head is usually talking shite!!
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