The unveiling of 20 year old Tiger Woods to the world of professional golf in 1996 brought an unprecedented interest to the game. Although Jack Nicklaus remains arguably the best golfer to play the game the modern media made Tiger Woods a superstar to people across all walks of life – I once heard of a labourer building roads outside of Umtata talking about how happy he was that Tiger had won another tournament.
Professionals today owe a debt of gratitude to all the great golfers that came before them and none more so than Tiger, whose mere presence as a member of the PGA Tour ensured that his fellow players competed for ever increasing prize money.
However, a worry for the media, the tour and golf in general was what would happen when Tiger’s star diminished? Well, after watching the PGA at Whistling Straights last weekend the concerns appear to be a thing of the past! The professional game in my opinion is in great health with Jordan, Rory and Jason competing like superstars and behaving like gentlemen. They are role models that I am sure that every golfing parent will feel very comfortable to use as examples to their children; young men who will inspire the next generation of golfers.
They are the world’s number 1, 2 and 3 ranked players – long may it stay that way!