On the news that ratings were actually up for this hardly satisfying 2007 Masters, I've heard from a number of people that they argued with friends over the weekend about the setup and the joys of watching great players suffer.
There is a sizeable audience of the viewing public that enjoys watching the best players struggle. They like seeing them humiliated and brought down to a lower level of skill.
"They know how I feel now."
This mentality has been around a long time and many of the games lesser-informed writers have celebrated the notion of pro golfers serving as modern day gladiators served up for the people to devour in humiliating spectacles.
So I'm wondering if championship golf is going to go the way of everything else in our society. Will it have to become "relatable" (as the marketing folks like to say) for big-time golf to succeed? In other words, will professional golfers eventually serve at the pleasure of the people, with major events played to publicly humiliate millionaire golfers on overcooked layouts in order to make the average man feel better about his lousy game?
Personally, I find it to be an incredibly selfish way to view golf. It's a lot more fun to see the talent of these great players exposed, celebrated and savored. But maybe that's old school? Thoughts?