Since Tiger Woods left the scene there has been universal worry over the future of the game, but then 2016 came along and debunked our fears, writes Mike Taylor.
For the last five years I’ve been asked in hushed tones about the state of golf. Is there still a big interest, is anyone making headlines, what does the future look like?
I can safely say it looks good. After the Women’s Olympic Golf Tournament it will be hard to pick the best moment of the season, because there are so many. Players from six different nations won medals in Rio, and both tournaments came down to the stretch.
It was so captivating that Henrik Stenson’s 63 at Royal Troon (arguably the best round in major history) feels like a distant memory, but it was only last month.
Louis Oosthuizen’s ball-off-ball ace at The Masters was an eternity ago, coupled with Jordan Spieth’s meltdown (there goes the Big Three) and Danny Willett’s rise into the world’s top 10.
Rewatch Dustin Johnson’s approach into the 18th at Oakmont during the final round of the US Open. He had to back away after the crowds distracted him and still hit one of the best shots I’ve witnessed.
We haven’t reached the Ryder Cup and there are incredible highlights to enjoy.
There is no single player, male or female, who is taking the game forward by themself. Golf has evolved and 2016 has been the showcase year for it.
It’s not the #SBK2016 crew of Rickie Fowler and company that have us excited. It’s not Rory McIlroy’s whinges, nor Ian Poulter’s Ferrari Tweets, nor pink and yellow shoes.
It’s the golf. Undeniably good golf. Stuff we haven’t seen since Tiger Woods, only this time it’s coming from a range of different players.
Forget Zika and USGA blunders and all the bad stuff. Instead tune in for Hazeltine, because it’s likely to cap off one of the greatest years of golf we’ve ever seen.