Today, as I’m writing this, the Masters have begun. People have come from all around the globe to experience the flowering dogwood, the spectacularly manicured lawns and a cheap Southern staple known as a pimento cheese sandwich. It’s also a rite of Spring and carries the connotation of a certain unofficial changing of the seasons for some. To be sure, this is a golf tournament, but the significance it has taken on over the years for a certain demographic (read: white people) as an event has rendered it a sacred retreat, a place to escape a world constantly screaming at their privilege through social media and otherwise. It’s an event that admires and supports privilege through a tangible avatar, the sexualization of female patrons, and Gone With the Wind-like romanticism provided by CBS and ESPN. All of this is a problem.
I don’t think golfers are athletes. I don’t think it’s even an argument.
“Oh, but Matt, you try and do it, then you’ll think they’re athletes.” Well, I can’t develop software or bowl as well as professionals that do those things can, but that doesn’t make them athletes. The way I see it, I can’t garner a golfer’s athleticism from their playing golf. The sport of golf doesn’t prove golfers’ athleticism; therefore, they are not athletes. Watch basketball. You’ll see athleticism. Even watch soccer, same thing, etcetera, etcetera for many other sports. And so, for the remainder of this entry, I will be referring to these men as golfers or golfletes. Certainly not athletes.
Four to six times a year, golf is important. It is at the forefront of weekend television. This past weekend was one of those times. The British Open (I’m certainly not just going to call it “The Open,” as if it’s the only Open tournament in the world) was played over the last four days, and boy, was it a good one. Read More