When Mainstream Media Wades Into Golf…

I’ve been meaning to make note of Marg Wente’s column on the Tiger incident(s) yesterday if only to show why people who haven’t a club about golf shouldn’t try to act like experts on the sport. Wente’s rant appeared on the front of the Globe, a long way from the op-ed pages where her writing usually resides.

Her take is that Tiger is “an Alpha male,” and those guys screw around. That’s the basics of it.

But Wente adds this line:

It’s a tribute to Tiger’s famous lust for control that he’s been able to maintain his pristine image until now. His 19th-hole behaviour was no secret on the golf circuit. But anyone who dared to write about it would lose access to the best golfer who ever lived. So they didn’t.

I simply don’t think this is true and I have no idea how Wente would know that it is true. I doubt she knows a TaylorMade R9 from a 56 degree wedge and has likely never stepped foot at a professional golf tournament. But suddenly she’s saying people haven’t reported on Woods’ infidelities because they “didn’t want to lose access to the best golfer who ever lived.” What access, exactly, would that be? Wente clearly doesn’t know Woods rarely gives one-on-one interviews and typically has to talk to everyone at the pre-tournament press conference for the events he’s in. So exactly what access is she talking about?

Oh, and Wente probably thought the previous “best golfer who ever lived” was Matt Damon, as she was unaware Bagger Vance was fictional. I’m just saying…

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I would also put Rosie Dimanno’s continuing articles somewhat in this category -although she seems to sympathize somewhat with Tiger saying he sounds like a “gentleman” on the infamous voicemail whereas others in his situation could have sounded downright nasty and threatening.

    I truly hope while Tiger is at work on the golf course going forward nobody interferes/taunts/heckles etc. as that is just downright unfair. However I would not be suprised if people went out of their way deliberatly to tournaments Tiger was at just to do what I’m hoping they dont; summary: a man’s private life(especially between the sheets) should not affect their professional life.

  • RT:

    I respectfully disagree with your posting on this. I read Ms. Wente article. She expressed her opinion (you call it a rant and I cannot disagree) but her core argument was not unreasonable nor the conclusions inaccurate (given it is an opinion piece).

    Do you believe that those journalists that followed Tiger closely were not aware of his activities? This seems more implausible than the fact that his “transgressions” were not exposed until now. I would not put it past Tiger to walk right past a Jimmy Roberts or Roger Maltbie green side reporter seeking a television interview after a PGA round if they knew about and exposed Tiger’s transgressions prior to this most recent series of events.

    Ms. Wente wrote a good deal more than the element you identified and her viewpoint has merit, regardless of whether she can distinguish a sand wedge from a putter.

  • Hello,

    If there are any reasonably attractive white women who read this blog, would you like to meet me at the Blue Martini near my home?


  • Tiger – we have seen pictures of the Perkins waitress. I think by “reasonably attractive” you mean “not missing many teeth and available”.

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