Is Chris Baldwin serious about Justin Timberlake?
I’ll say this at the outset: I often agree with much that TravelGolf.com’s Chris Baldwin has to say. Not everything, but a lot. More often than not, Baldwin is spot on with his takes on the game, and I usually admire his willingness to take unpopular positions and hang his opinions out there.
That bit of throat-clearing now over, I did a double-take at Baldwin’s most recent blog entry: Impossible to overestimate the impact of Justin Timberlake as new host of Las Vegas’ PGA tournament.
Yes, it seems that Baldwin thinks that boy-toy Timberlake is really going to have them lining up to watch this desert snooze-fest next fall. You begin reading, wondering whether Baldwin is writing with tongue firmly planted in cheek before you groan at the hard fact that he’s being serious.
I’ll agree on one thing: Attaching any celebrity’s name to the event is better than its last incarnation: The Fry’s Electronics Open. But getting all excited that this event now has a new lease on life thanks to Timberlake is missing the fact that it still belongs to the PGA Tour’s dreadful Fall Series, nearly two months of “Who cares?” golf rendered all the more meaningless by the faux drama of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Timberlake isn’t going to convince NBC to cover the event; it’s still destined for the wilderness of cable TV coverage. And Baldwin suggests that Timberlake will help grow the gallery. I can’t see that many grown men fighting for scalped tickets on the basis of catching a glimpse of Timberlake’s silky golf swing (to say nothing of the fact that Timberlake is only playing the pro-am. Thursday through Sunday play will still be dominated by the working golfers of the Tour’s lower echelons, trying to eek out next year’s card).
Of course, maybe a top player will have a daughter who will convince him that “he’s just got to meet Justin.”
I know Timberlake is a hell of a golfer - I read somewhere he’s a six handicap. He’d destroy me on the course. I know he’s got real enthusiasm for the game. And I don’t mind his name on a PGA event.
But I’m just calling for a little realism here. Timberlake won’t make any significant difference to an event buried in the desert of the PGA Tour’s Fall Series schedule.
And I hope that Baldwin isn’t inflating Timberlake’s affect as a thanks for getting some face time with the superstar last year.
I think Baldwin’s better than that.
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Seriously, I'm not saying he's going to make the tournament into the Masters or even the Barclays. But I believe he's going to draw more interest it to than it's ever had before.
They've gotten Phil Mickelson to show in Vegas before and still nobody came out to watch. That's because the traditional golf fans in Vegas are all too busy at the tables.
It's the nontraditional ones who are going to help this tournament. Those are the folks Timberlake will bring out.
I don't think he'll just show up for the Pro Am and bolt either. I get the sense if he puts his name on something, he's going to be there every day, trying to make sure it's a success.
I guess we will wait and see. I hate being cynical about this, and I will be the first to write that you called it if it turns out to be true. Promise that.
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