Golf is a sport enjoyed by thousands of players and millions of fans around the world. The game is a special kind of sport, as it does not base itself on a standardized area. In fact, different golf clubs try and create unique landscapes which offer players a constant challenge. This is one reason why over 5 million US viewers watch golf on tv every year.
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Golf, as it’s known today, dates to around the 15th century. It originated in Scotland and following the lifting of a ban on it by King James IV, the sport quickly became popular. Many clubs began popping up around the region, with the Old Course at St. Andrews, which opened in 1574, still open till this very day! Almost two centuries later, at this very location, the first 18-hole golf course was created.
Golf was generally considered to be a rich man's sport, but as the game's popularity spread across the globe it also started being played by the middle classes. Today, several international competitions bring together professional golfers watched by their loyal fans, who either join them at the course or watch golf on tv.
The PGA European Tour is the entity behind three main professional golf tours for men in Europe. These are the Elite Europen Tour, the European Senior Tour, and the Challenge Tour. Whilst normally these tours are held in Europe, there’s a growing trend to organize them outside of the continent.
The European Tour season sees some of the most popular competitions in golf, including the Rolex Series and the Race to Dubai. These events welcome the top golfing talent, not only from Europe but from other countries as well, particularly those within the Commonwealth. Over the years, these events have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of sponsors. This is partly since viewers can now watch the European tour on tv or on dedicated websites.
The PGA is responsible for the organization of the main professional golfing tours for men in North America. These tours include major events, such as the PGA Tour, the PGA Tour Champions, and the PGA Tour Canada. With an increase in viewers who watch PGA on tv today, the organization has grown and expanded even beyond the United States and Canada.
Tour events are nowadays organized in Malaysia, South Korea, and the Dominical Republic, to mention a few. The Chinese too have taken a liking to the sport, and today the country hosts its own World Golf Championships. With golf quickly spreading to Eastern states, millions of people are expected to become regular fans and players of the sport. This will add to the already 77 million fans who already watch PGA on tv today.
When it comes to listing some of the best golf legends, several obvious names come to mind. The most successful professional golfer is most probably the American, Jack Nicklaus. He won a total of 18 Majors and 73 PGA tours in his illustrious career, and his fans consider him the best golfer who ever lived.
Other notable success stories include Tiger Woods, who has won 14 Majors and 80 PGA Tours, and Bobby Jones, who won 13 Majors and 9 PGA Tours. Years before either Woods or Jones were even born, Walter Hagen was making history golfing in the early 20th century. Amongst other notable accomplishments, Hagen managed to win five PGA Championships titles, and this was back when the PGA took the match-play format.
Billy Casper is another golfer worthy of being called a legend. Casper peaked in the late 1950s, just when golf started to be broadcast on tv. Apart from winning 3 Majors and 51 PGA Tours, Casper also broke the record for the most career Ryder Cup points.
Memorable TV Moments
For those watching golf on tv, the sport offers unpredictable action and results. Over the years there have been many instances where last-minute surprises and perfect shots transformed a game completely. One such moment was witnessed on tv in 1988 when Sandy Lyle struck a smooth 7-irons and coaxed the putt in down the hill. This moment was made even more special, or ruined, by Sandy's very curious dance.
Other memorable moments include the time in 1991 when Woosie holed an eight-footer on the last and another time when in 1995, following the death of his coach, Ben Crenshaw turned his game around and went on the win his second Green Jacket. These and so many other memorable events make Golf a spectator sport unlike another other.
Golf is a fascinating sport which many professionals make look easy to play. This is probably one of the reasons why most viewers prefer watching, rather than playing. The game, once restricted to the nobility, is now accessible and available on demand. All it takes is an Internet or cable connection to watch golf on tv today.