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19th Hole

Scott Van Pelt’s take on renewed fan appreciation for Tiger Woods. Do you agree?



Tiger Woods has been the most popular and widely rooted-for golfer since turning pro in 1996. This holds true among golf fans and general sports fans alike. And despite what his detractors might say and their arguments as to why this should not be the case, it is. Overwhelmingly so.

In the course of Woods’ latest comeback from injury, beginning at the 2017 Hero World Challenge, we’ve seen a little different flavor to fan adoration, and a little different response from Woods himself.

Michael Williams, speaking with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on the 19th Hole podcast, asked Van Pelt for his perspective on the Tiger love.

Van Pelt offered an excellent reply.

“Here’s why in my opinion. At 21, or 25, or 28 whatever stage you want to pick when he’s truly this Superman and he’s flying above everyone else and he’s destroying people, we can’t relate to any of that. None of it is part of the human experience that we know, but at 40-something with a bald spot and with some kids and with some miles on the tires and some bumps in the road that you’ve hit and some other things you’ve run into that were your own mistakes, we can relate to all of that.

“We can relate to the frailty of human condition and we can relate to being fallible, and we can relate to being imperfect and I think that we … When I say we, I mean what I presume we are seeing in golf fans. With golf fans turning on their televisions in record numbers and who bought record numbers of tickets in Tampa, what those people are saying, in my opinion, are we want that guy who we know is fallible and frail and human. We want to see that guy do it again and whether it’s one more time or ten more times we want to see it again, because societally we have this really interesting habit of wanting to tear down what we built up and then wanting to see it get back to that place.

“I think the love of the galleries it’s unreal. Monday he comes out and walks onto the range and you hear this roar and it’s a Monday and he’s walking out to the range and people are cheering. They’re so excited to see him.

“Here’s the thing, I get that there’s pushback. I get that there are people who don’t root for him and that’s fine. You see it on social media, this, that and the other and you don’t have to root for him, but to those people to try to pretend like they’re not in a minority is a joke. The overwhelming majority of people that are watching, are watching to see one guy and it’s Tiger Woods.”

What do you think about SVP’s take, GolfWRX members? Has he hit the nail on the head in describing this new flavor of Tiger fandom? Is is the enthusiasm merely the product of absence making fans hearts grow fonder?

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  1. Alex

    Apr 11, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I think SVP is right on the money. That’s not to say people should or should not be rooting for him, they just are. And the other players are fine with that because Tiger means more viewers and that keeps the prize money up. It would’ve been one of the greatest sports stories of all time if Tiger had won but it was RIDICULOUS that anyone was considering him the favorite. (I’m talking to you, Golf Channel.)

  2. Hilly

    Apr 10, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I can’t stand when people think Tigers getting too much media attention. Tigers in pretty good shape to make the greatest sports comeback of all time. Absolutely he’s going to get more coverage. Tiger is what the majority of golf fans want to see.

  3. Boyo

    Apr 10, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Shank this.

  4. A. Commoner

    Apr 9, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Welcome to the Dr. Phil and The Great Karnak Hour.

  5. Warwick Weedon

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Van Pelt is right. We all (majority) want to see Tiger playing well again and he has done amazingly well in his comeback.

  6. Dixie doc

    Apr 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Tiger beat Couples and Langer by 1 stroke. I barely saw a flicker of either of them on the screen but I saw an average Joe time after time. It gets old because as much as the media want him to win he can’t right now and there are better players who are worth watching.

    • Andrew

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Agreed. The media’s coverage was completely pathetic lapdog. They wanted so much for Rory to be the story come Sunday too. Congrats Patrick for not giving them what they want.

  7. Rev G

    Apr 9, 2018 at 9:54 am

    If your a person who only watches golf when Tiger is on or only goes to a tournament when Tiger is there, then you are not a golf fan – you are just a Tiger fan. There’s nothing wrong with that it’s just true. There are many many golf fans who don’t want to watch golf when he’s in a tournament because he gets all the attention and the announcers seem to talk about only him and the coverage of the tournament is decreased to focus on him. Yes this group of people is probably a minority – but it is still a large amount – and they are golf fans. I love watching Tiger because he is a great golfer, but I want coverage of all the other golfers too. And it can get very annoying when the coverage is solely on him. Many people, particularly older, more conservative people – turn off the TV when the coverage becomes Tiger only. Part of that is the annoyance of Tiger centered coverage and part of that is because they don’t like him because of his personal life mistakes. These people would much rather watch Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.

  8. Bagger Vance

    Apr 9, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Scott Van Putz is wrong.

  9. G

    Apr 9, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Who wanted to see a guy playing at even par or worse while the leaders were -10 and better in the final round. Most golfers want to see the best golfers in the world playing not some has-been trying to make a comeback. This obsession with Woods will cost the PGA tour in the long run.

    • Paul

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      Who do you suggest they show in featured groups at 11:00 on a Sunday? Keep in mind everyone teeing off at that time is +4

    • Boyo

      Apr 10, 2018 at 6:40 am

      Wahh wahh wahh

    • Anser

      Apr 10, 2018 at 8:50 am

      The answer to your question… is most people that aren’t hardcore golf fans. He’s still the one who moves the needle.

      Jordan and Justin could walk down any mall in America and people would be clueless who they were.

  10. Illin'

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:02 am

    No. Eldrick will always and forever be a sick adulterer. We should all let his kids know that so that they suffer for his ills.

    • Common sense

      Apr 9, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Why would you make his kids suffer for his discretions? How does that even make any sense?

      • Way

        Apr 9, 2018 at 7:02 pm

        Why not. It’s a sick world out there that lets these sickos live just because they have money and the law wrote down who can and will shut up

        • Tim

          Apr 9, 2018 at 7:10 pm

          Your a complete ignorant buffoon and I only pray to God you are not a parent. If u are it’s your precious kids that everyone needs to worry about!

    • Boyo

      Apr 10, 2018 at 6:41 am

      Let ye who have no sins cast the first stone, you pos.

    • TigerJr

      Apr 10, 2018 at 7:04 am

      I hope I meet your daughter some day ;o)

  11. Joe A

    Apr 8, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    I don’t care if Tiger is playing or not, but it’s all the media hype that goes with it is impossible to get through for people who want to enjoy golf for golf’s sake and not be inundated by Tiger news 24/7. How many players who were 16 shots out of the lead got interviews on a Sunday? How many people got multiple replays and coverage for being that far out? None but Tiger.

    It’s just too much. Not knocking his contribution to the game, but seriously.

  12. Jacko

    Apr 8, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Scott Van Pelt is an annoying person. Tiger was great in his day but now he is more an older journey man golfer. TV should focus on players playing well not some guy 18 shots back with a hit or miss back.

    • Warwick Weedon

      Apr 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      You don’t get it Jacko. The world wants to see the 2nd greatest golfer that ever lived!

      • RS

        Apr 10, 2018 at 5:25 am

        Jack Nicklaus hit the first tee shot, so there’s #2 still in action. Tiger is #1 without question.

    • Boyo

      Apr 10, 2018 at 6:43 am

      Jacko me off.

  13. Joe

    Apr 8, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I think golf is fine with or without Tiger there is no denying his popularity and I would be happy to celebrate his winning the Masters again- the hard work it takes, the nerve it takes, we should all be happy with whoever wins this great(est) tournament.

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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf



We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.


But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”


We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Justin Rose shows off his Honma clubs, Justin Timberlake does Happy Gilmore and Barack Obama’s new swing




Over the last seven days, Matt Kuchar brought home the bacon at the Sony Open, while golf fans got a look at plenty of new equipment releases for 2019. But here’s some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere in the last week.

Justin Timberlake’s Draw

Ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, and he can hit a perfect draw Happy Gilmore style. Bit annoying.

Rose Showcases His New Honma Clubs

Still waiting to make his first start of 2019, the World Number 1 is ready to go as a member of Team Honma.

Chez Reavie Goes Bananas

In case you missed it, Chez Reavie became the first player since the PGA Tour began keeping records to make three eagles on three par 4’s in a single round. The fact that he holed out each one from the fairway is quite incredible.

Obama’s New Swing

Barack Obama has had a bit more free time over the past couple of years, since, well you know, he’s not running the country anymore. How do you rate his swing, GolfWRXers?

Double Hit Rule

This video has caused much confusion over the past week on social media. The double hit rule may have changed in 2019, but this attempt is still illegal. Impressive either way you look at it though.



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19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway



In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway


Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.


Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.


Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway


There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.


Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.


As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.


If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.


But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

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19th Hole