Silly season golf gets even sillier with High Stakes Golf Tour on ESPN
Tiger’s grilling brats with Roger Federer on his yacht somewhere between Gatorade endorsement mega-deals. Ernie Els is giving pre-game rugby pep talks apparently. Yep, it’s about that time for golf’s “silly season".
There is one new addition this year, but it isn’t PGA Tour affiliated. It’s the new High Stakes Golf Tour, scheduled to air this Saturday and next on ESPN.
There are no scratch golfers in the two-day event. In fact, most of them are pretty terrible. Some are allowed to use a tee on every shot. They’re mostly poker players like Phil Helmuth, Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey (Click here for my BadGolfer.com profile on “Kid Poker” Daniel Negreanu).
I attended the taping of the event back in August at Bali Hai in Las Vegas. It took about five hours to shoot nine holes, but it’s been condensed down into a convenient and entertaining one-hour form for ESPN.
I frankly couldn’t get over the fact most of these guys had pretty brutal swings (single-digit-handicappers are certainly outnumbered here), yet most act as cocky as they do on the poker tables. These high rollers say they like pressure - on the course or on the tables, and any of them can pull a shot out from nowhere if there’s big cash at stake. I’ll bet there are a lot of clutch 20-footers made for double bogey during their own, non-televised matches.
In the event airing Saturday, three, three-man teams play a scramble at $1 million per person, per hole. I’d offer a hint as to who may win big, but that would probably mean I’d wake up in some Vegas back room while a thug named “Tiny” gets more acquainted with me.
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