Top Links:

Get A Golf Handicap

UK Golf Guide

Golfshake Top 100s

Find Golf Travel Deals

Golf Competitions


Community Forum


Tee Times | Search | Reviews


Gear | Tour | Industry Insider


Video Library | Tuition Sections


Join | Log In | Help | Useful Links


The King is Dead, Long Live the Kings

By: Golf Shake | Thu 19 Mar 2015

Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements

If you follow American golf closely, you could be forgiven for thinking that nobody other than Tiger Woods actually exists.  Even though he has withdrawn from the game because his game is in such a terrible state, there is an obsession with all things Woods. It is unhealthy, it is unfathomable and it flies in the face of everything that is being achieved by a group of fabulous young players who are taking the sport to a new level.

Brace yourself, but the reality is that Woods now needs the game far more than it needs him. He has been a fading force for years, but many of us refused to accept it. Don't get me wrong, when he first arrived on the scene, I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing. It seemed that overtaking Jack Nicklaus' record total of 18 majors would be a formality. But he has been stuck on 14 for almost seven years.

Tiger Woods - Photo Credit - Kevin Diss/www.kevindiss.com

During that time, he has won 14 tournaments. He won six times in 2009, three times in 2012 and five times in 2013. That means there were no victories in 2010, 2011 and 2014. And he hasn't come close to adding to his tally of majors. His star was at its brightest when he won the 2008 US Open on a broken leg but it fell pretty rapidly after that. It all started with the sex scandal and since then there have been a series of debilitating injuries. He is 39 years old, a shadow of the man who once ruled the game so imperiously. Unsurprisingly, his body is now telling him that it has had enough.

He may be back for The Masters, he may not. In truth, it makes no difference whether he turns up at Augusta or not because he hasn't a hope of winning. If he makes it, there will be a morbid fascination. Forget him breaking 70 - the question is whether he will be capable of cracking 80 unless he can quickly discover a way to keep the ball in play from the tee and rediscover a once-wondrous touch around the greens. He has recently being giving a pretty good impression of a 24-handicapper in that regard.

Gone is the putting stroke that made every clutch putt he faced. When he had to hole a putt he just never missed. And the man who holed that chip for a two at the 16th at Augusta is now just as likely to fluff the ball six feet or thin it through the green as produce an up-and-down to save par.

His golf swing generally still looks pretty good, but it is no longer natural, no longer his own golf swing. And the saddest thing of all is that he probably no longer knows how to swing the club naturally.

Jack Nicklaus knew when it was time to quit. So did Nick Faldo and Greg Norman. Arnold Palmer did not. Neither did Seve Ballesteros. Do you think that Woods will want to be remembered for shooting 80 on courses he routinely took apart when in his prime or as somebody who won 14 majors and is still regarded by some as the best golfer the world has ever seen? I think we all know the answer to that. For the record, he can never be regarded as the greatest - that honour has to go to Nicklaus, not just for his 18 majors, but for the fact that his time at the top spanned an astonishing 26 years.

As far as Woods is concerned, the aura of invincibility has long since gone. And while he has become a mere mortal, the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson are now playing the sort of golf we once thought only Tiger was capable of. For us to remain so obsessed with Woods is to insult these astonishing young talents.

Changing Faces of Golf

Rory McIlroy

You may have missed it, but record crowds attended the Valspar championship, with Woods nowhere in sight. And TV viewing figures for the event also hit a record high, 31% up on last year.

McIlroy has so far won four majors, while Fowler finished in the top five in all four of last year's majors. Spieth was second at the 2014 Masters, Day has come close to several and Johnson should already have a US Open, US PGA and Open title to his credit. And then there are the ones snapping at their heels - Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Harris English and Russell Henley for starters.

Trust me when I tell you that the US doesn't need a Ryder Cup working party. Come 2016, there will be no place in the team for the likes of Woods, Phil Mickelson or Jim Furyk. The side captained by Davis Love III could easily comprise almost entirely of golfers in their twenties, unaffected by the history of loss at the hands of Europe.

Europe? We have our own share of brilliant young guns too - Victor Dubuisson, Alexander Levy, Tommy Fleetwood, McIlroy, Romain Wattel, Matt Fitzpatrick, Morten Orum Madsen and Danny Willett.

The future is as rosy as it has ever been. And it almost certainly does not include Tiger Woods. Get over it and let's celebrate his legacy, which is all of the players named above. Without him, many would probably never have come to the game. Without him, it is highly unlikely they would have attained the standards they have.

Photo Credit - Kevin Diss/www.kevindiss.com and TourProGolfClubs

Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: tiger woods rory mcilroy

Scroll to top