Tiger, Tiger Woods Y’all: Urbanizing the World’s Swankiest SportPosted: May 25, 2012
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You know that you have cred when your street sounds like it only contains cottages, and as a denizen of Devonshire court, I scoff at claims that streets with a directional letter and a few digits can hold a candle to the real experiences on one of the toughest cul-de-sacs in the Greater Cleveland area. It’s no coincidence that I’ve earned the title “The Sire of the Shire.”
Hailing from the mean streets has made me a bit of an authority on urban culture. And with my experiences both on PC-aided expeditions in Oregon Trail and visiting local venture Pioneer Waterland, you could say that I’m quite the pioneer. In respect to my conglomerate, it’s pretty clear that I am in a unique position to tap into the mainstream and generate the next big thing. I woke up today a sheep in sports innovation, but in a matter of hours, I shed the wool and picked up the staff- or in this case, a metal club.
Before today, my consideration of urban golf could be described as limited. I’m sure many of you felt the same. I touched on it in my much-hyped rap career, boasting that “I ball harder than a golfer on asphalt.” At that time, I had no idea that a throwaway brag would change the course of sports history. Over breakfast, I collaborated with a one-off bit produced by The Worldwide Leader in Sports. An advertisement on early-bird SportsCenter showcases the portability of ESPN go, declaring that if you desert work to watch golf on the rooftop, the golfer will abandon the green, ascend an adjacent building, and perform his job in front of you.
If I had that power, I would totally watch things like surgery and cooking. Does it make me a bad person if I want to watch live rooftop surgery?
But wait a second, why don’t people watch golf? Most people blame it on the outfits of John Daly, but the real answer is a bit less shocking. It’s because televised golf is absurdly boring. So what do sports do when people participate in them, but won’t watch them on TV? If you’re everyone’s favorite ESPN punching bag, the Scripps Howard spelling bee, you amplify the pressure until 12 year old savants pass out. Poker? Lets throw percentages at our audience, so they don’t have to assess risk or do math. Chess? Combine moving rooks with throwing hooks.
How can we make golf interesting? I set out to find a panacea for the tedium of golf. One solution, for me at least, is more alligator influence on the game. Not only would this discourage the dreaded water hazard restart, but could you imagine the pressure of playing a shot that you know your follow-through will contact the torso of a sleeping gator?
But I can foresee some “technicalities” with that, most stemming from an organization like PETA being a bit of a PITA. But my second best idea for improving the appeal of televised golf not only could happen, but should be happening right now. And 1 Streetball shows drew ratings on ESPN for years, thanks to the eclectic mix of white ball-handling savants, larger-than-life dunks, and larger-than-life big men. Gamers toss money at Street games featuring hulking caricatures of real athletes running up walls and jumping 20 feet in the air in a myriad of different sports. Street racing, according to just about every car movie ever, is its own high-stakes underground circuit, where daredevils cheat death, drive souped up sports cars, perform heists on the side, and live extravagantly. Without researching it, at least twelve people watch the street skateboarding in the X games; that’s about six times as many as the vert competition. An untapped market, people!
Here is my proposal: Lets take the second tier of professional golfers: guys who aren’t making millions, but still lie in the .0001 percentile of best players in the world. Scout local courses for people with phenomenal skills who haven’t hit it big yet; I found an amateur in my Facebook news feed who drives the ball over 400 yards, while the longest average drive on the 2011 PGA Tour averaged less than 318 yards.
Assemble a group that includes modern course designers willing to push the envelope, urban city planners and architects, and the people who design paths for major marathons. Have them hash out the details of creating a city-wide golf course, using elements such as shifts in height and glass window hazards. Maybe the fairway for one hole is 10th floor office carpeting, accessed through a window with the cup down a hallway. Idiots break things on TV all of the time, and NASCAR seems more than happy constantly replacing cars. We could easily replace windows.
In an informal research poll of two people, 100% percent of respondents indicated that not only would they watch extreme urban golf, but it would be can’t-miss programming. A guy driving balls off of a skyscraper would get incredible hangtime and increased roll after impact, as the asphalt surface would create crazy bounces and longer distances after contact.
And think about the long-term increases: Many poor children are never exposed to golf, as swanky country clubs are atypical hangouts for the impoverished. With more young, potentially talented participants, you could tap in to a future generation of premier athletes who usually play other sports, creating a wave of improvement reverberating through the game. Bring the game to the city and see the citizens improve the game.
To make golf more fun, we need less Eldrick and more Tiger. Less Shooter McGavin and more Billy Madison. A circuit-style tour model where cities are cordoned off, marathon style, would revolutionize a sport best known for ritzy roots and cultural elitism and allow golf to become entertaining and embraceable.
I’ll be streaming from the rooftops. Care to join?
Can Urban Golf soar like an eagle, or did I double-bogey this argument? Direct your love and hate @bigpoppalard