Local Duffers Paying Close Attention to Tiger Woods at Masters

John M. Dabbs

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AT&T National tournament host Tiger Woods blasts an iron shot during the third annual Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am on July 1,at CongressionalU.S. Army/Wikimedia Commons

Tiger in the midst at The Masters

With Tiger Woods returning to the pro circuit and playing in the Masters this year, many people are tuning in the Masters tournament and seeing how Woods is playing. Woods nearly lost his leg in an automobile accident just over a year ago. The 46 year old golfer was in a very serious single-vehicle accident in February 23 in California where he was severely injured.

Woods returning to the links for a Masters tournament signals he is ready to compete seriously. Woods doesn't take competition lightly and would not be here if he didn't think he had a chance.

"I don't show up to an event, unless I think I can win it. So that's the attitude I've had." - Tiger Woods

What would a win mean for local golf

Would Tiger Woods winning the Masters to tie the record have much of an impact? It's possible. The fact that Woods is now 46 doesn't play into the equation. "Woods made golf cool to play" - Dustin Johnson summed it up quite succinctly in that quote.

When Tiger Woods came onto the pro circuit and began winning at an early age, he brought something fresh and new to the sport. The same could be said for Barack Obama and the US Presidency, regardless of what you might think of his politics, he was cool too.

The "cool" factor is what brought many current golfers back out onto the links and began filling the courses around the country. Prior to golf being one of the few ways to get out and about while socially distancing during the pandemic, golf had seen a major downswing locally.

Golf has been seen as less than "cool" and had lost some of its glory in Woods' absence from the mainstream. Phil Mickelson and some of the other PGA stars just don't have the gravity of the fan base with them drawing people to be them - just like Michael Jordan and the people who wanted to "be like Mike."

Local golfers Alex Baxter and Jay Morris of Johnson City think a good showing by Woods could bring some life back into the sport. Things have deteriorated in some areas, "with the Buffalo Valley course being decommissioned by Johnson City, and other local courses having issues - we aren't sure where the sport is heading." said Baxter.

Morris believes even a good showing by Woods could bring more people out to the driving ranges and golf schools for some introduction and possibly even picking the sport up. Morris says the next generation is getting a late start to pick up the slack as the middle-aged golfers are taking a break to concentrate on work before retiring.

Bristol golfers are wondering how their courses will stand with the municipal course at Steele Creek Park discussed as a possible place for a campground, and the Bristol Country Club's latest finanial issues and now only being open to members.

Only time will tell.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Bristol, TN
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