Is golf a sport? Parker McLachlin's mid-round tweet at Frys.com Open sets debate back an era
Lets all give a special thanks to Parker McLachlin, the “groundbreaking” professional golfer who is the first to have tweeted during an actual PGA Tour competition round Sunday at the Frys.com Open at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, thus setting the “Is golf a sport?” debate back to the time golfers were known for their beer bellies and being unable to climb out of a bunker without hyperventilating.
McLachlin’s Twitter feed blessed us all with this wonderful insider knowledge of what goes through a professional athlete’s head in the heat of competition:
“Just made birdie on 4. Waiting on 5th tee. First tweet during a tourney round. Don’t want to get too used to this!”
I’ve always had a saying about the “Is ___ a sport?” argument: If you can smoke or eat a hot dog while doing it, it’s probably not a sport. I think it’s finally time to add “Tweeting” to that list as well.
While I find about 99% of the Tweets I read to be utterly worthless, I will admit it does give both fans and journalists unprecedented access into celebrity’s thoughts and even once in awhile, news is broken on Twitter. It’s made the whole news gathering process more democratic.
But mid-round of a competitive event, it’s an absolute disgrace to be on your phone for any reason other than your wife is telling you a baby’s on the way. We all talk about getting “in the zone” in any given sport. I play goalie in beer league ice hockey and have semi-friendly matches as an 8-handicap golfer, and even I can find my own relative “zone” once in awhile.
There’s nothing more satisfying in sports as when you find the zone, and I can tell you no one ever tweets or checks football scores when they’re in it. We watch pro sports on TV in hopes of seeing these top athletes get in the zone, and deliver us greatness.
McLachlin bogeyed the 5th hole, by the way, but didn’t tweet that.
Tiger Woods and the new generation of fit golfers who I’d put up in a sports decathlon against other top athletes in basketball, hockey and football should all be ashamed of McLachlin and his tech addiction on the 5th tee, along with his playing partners Brad Faxon and and Glen Day who were apparently checking NFL scores. Gallery members were around but they wouldn’t small talk with them (so much for the debate about golfers not talking with fans enough because it will distract them from the job at hand) - or talk to each other it seems. Instead, they all fiddled on their smart phones like a teenager waiting for their friend outside the dressing room of Forever 21.
Don’t ever let a middle-aged man gripe about “these A.D.D. kid’s today and their gadgets.” They’re all hooked too.
You can follow Brandon Tucker’s golf blog and more on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brandontucker or follow WorldGolf.com at Twitter.com/worldgolf . Have a golf travel question for Brandon? Email him by clicking here
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In the end, every sport, regardless of the physical prowess needed, has it's own element of difficulties one must manage in order to perform well.
Besides, I put Tiger Woods on my top 3 all-time list of best athletes, along with Michael Jordon and Muhammad Ali.