After watching Justin Thomas win the PGA Championship on Sunday, it is 100 percent clear to me that the “young guns” today on Tour just do not care. They don’t care about anything or anyone, and this I tell you is a GOOD thing. So what do I mean? I’m glad you asked. Let me list a few of the things that are different about the PGA Tour’s most talented young guns.
Their Fellow Tour Players
The young guns on the PGA Tour don’t care very much how their fellow players are playing. Not only do they want to beat each other, but they want to do it by as many strokes as possible. They amaze me with how well they can keep the pedal to the metal and go as low as possible. What a refreshing way to play; the goal is to not only win, but to do so in dominant fashion. You gotta love it!
The History of the Game
Records are made to be broken, as they say, but for many years records stayed intact. It always seemed like for some reason they just weren’t broken. Case in point, John Cook won the FedEx Classic years ago and was around 23- or 24-under par for the first three rounds. The record on Tour was 27-under, and he finished around 25-under (and won the event).
Today’s young guns would have tried to get it to 30-under without blinking. I’m not saying Cook didn’t try to do so, but he did fall short on one of the easier courses on Tour at that time. I would bet a ton of money that his record would have been shattered if the same thing happened today.
Par or Bogeys
I don’t think I ever heard that making par was a bad score; in fact, if you shot even par on Tour each week, you made a nice living and almost won a tournament or two. Nowadays on the PGA Tour, par gets you a weekend off. One of the things I like most about the young players of today is that they try to birdie each hole and rarely worry about an early bogey. Back in the day, you were fighting to get back to par. Now it’s all about going as low as you can go.
Fairways hit was once an important category on Tour, and Calvin Peete and Fred Funk hit basically all of them. They had great careers. Now, it’s all about “how far” not “how straight.” The young guns bomb it, go find it, and hit it again. The older guys spent a lot of mental and emotional energy on missing fairways. Today, it’s one less thing to worry about, and I like that.
I know that social media was not around years ago, but what a perfect way to learn about the private life of your favorite Tour player. Personally, I love hearing a PGA Tour player’s side of the story. I would have loved to hear the thoughts of Jack, Ben, and Arnie back in the day; wouldn’t you?
So basically, what I’m saying is that the younger players of today just play the game differently than my generation, and I absolutely love it. I love the fact that they are longer, shooting in the 50s more often, decimating par… and essentially cannot be stopped. The entire experience is just more fun to watch.
Thanks to the “young guns” for reinventing the game of golf.