Golf could only be run by men because it spends so much time kicking itself in the balls. From the USGA / Dustin Johnson fiasco at Oakmont to the re-emergence of the Muirfield vote, the game’s ability to bring negative headlines upon itself is always remarkable but never surprising.

And all at a time when what is surely going to be one of golf’s most enduring eras is developing. And I’m not talking Speith/McIlroy/Day, fine players though they are, I’m talking about the truly Tiger-esque performances of Lydia Ko.

The 19 year old, 2 time Major winner, secured her third Tour title for 2016 this weekend. The New Zealand phenomenon is a new benchmark for golf; all golf. She is tearing through the record books and this weekend she wrote another chapter with a victory at the Arkansas Championship.

The Tiger effect of the late 90’s and early 2000’s grew the game in a way never seen before or since. With participation on the decline and with women being particularly under-represented, this is a golden chance to maximise the effect of a true superstar. And yet you look across the social media feeds and the news sections of 90% of the golf media this morning and the ‘Ko effect’ is nowhere to be seen. In a competitive market place it’s hard to take a chance to stand out from the crowd but I would guess that any media that showcased this incredible talent would not only be benefitting the game they need for their survival but would also be creating a whole new audience that would look to them as an authority.

But again we’re faced with another round of men voting on the most archaic of rules. Good luck with that chaps but can we just look away and only return when they’ve caught up with the world. For now great things are happening, things that can change the game and inspire a generation of golfers. We know the effect that the games’ best can have, so get behind the best golfer out there and maybe we (and I mean us middle aged men that largely make up the golf PR and Media industry) can see out the year without the game inflicting any more pain on itself.

David Wheatley
David Wheatley – Director

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