Sep
3
2010
Tiger: Golfers Are More Athletic Now!
By Stephanie Wei under FedEx Cup

Jason Kidd is an excellent human being, an incredible athlete and an even better golfer.

When Tiger Woods was asked at his Thursday press conference at the Deutsche Bank Championship if he was in support of the ball rollback, he alluded to hearing about the USGA-hosted Canadian Tour event where the modified ball was tested. He basically skirted the question, but he went on to say he “understands” the need for it and mistakenly compared golfers to real athletes!

“It’s just something — the guys are hitting it a long way,” said Tiger. “For instance, last week, No. 8 is a par-3 down the hill, playing 207 the last day, and I hit 7-iron. I don’t ever hit 7-iron that far. And I watched Dustin Johnson hit 9-iron. So I can understand them wanting to obviously pull the game back a little bit, because the guys are just becoming more athletic. Here I am six foot, and I’m considered short at six foot. Most of the guys now are 6’3″, 6’2″, 6’4″. Just like every other sport, it’s evolved, become more athletic. The guys have speed, and now we’re getting some great athletes playing the game.”

Ummm…yeah, these athletes he’s talking about also play other professional sports. Sorry, I should be defending the game — and I usually do — but I can’t help myself here. (For what it’s worth, I actually asked Jason Kidd if he thought it was a sport and he did, saying athleticism is required to play consistently for four days, etc.) I’m also not going to get into a pissing match about it because personally I don’t think it matters that much (but I tell those who make fun of golf to try and play, or hell, walk 18 holes and then get back to me).

Okay, so, DJ is 6’3″ and I see him being athletic. But a lot of the guys, like Ryo Ishikawa, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, aren’t very tall (5’9″ – 5’11”-ish) and still bomb the ball. At the same time, I understand that Tiger is trying to say that fitness and training have become more integral to the game.

[Photo by Kyle Auclair/insidetheropes.com]