I’ve always liked Geoff Ogilvy. I don’t know him very well. To be honest, he almost kind of intimidates me because I know he is one of the guys on Tour who actually has a very functional brain and better sense than most — which he’s shown once again in his most recent column in Golf Digest.
Ogilvy wrote that he has played with Tiger Woods many times and has never questioned his integrity, so he thought Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee was a little cavalier with his comments, but thing is, he was just doing his job. He also said that the backlash against Chamblee was unfair and players need to be less sensitive with criticism from the media:
But here’s the thing. The resulting backlash against Brandel was also unfair. While he used language that was, in places, too hyperbolic for my taste, the principle of him being able to share with us his expert assessment is too important to be abused.
To my mind, Brandel is one of the best things on Golf Channel. And let’s be clear: He isn’t employed to give us facts; he is there to offer opinion. So he should be allowed to do so. That’s what frustrated me most about this entire affair: the idea that someone in the media should somehow not be able to call it the way he or she sees it. That doesn’t sit well with me.
Maybe tour players are just too spoiled. Because we are pampered in so many areas of our lives, we perhaps have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the media. In general we’d be better off not being so precious about what appears in print and on-screen. Our relationship with the media should be similar to what we have with our parents or closest friends: one where absolute frankness is best for all concerned. We all watch Golf Channel and read magazines like this one — or at least I do — in order to be more informed about what is going on in our little world. If that material is clouded by a need to give only a sanitized view, then the whole thing is failing in its intent.
Golf claps! Well said. I recommend reading the full column here.
Ogilvy also suggested Tiger stop giving “nothing” interviews because the media and the players have a symbiotic relationship:
It works both ways though. Much of what went on between Tiger and Brandel could have been avoided if Tiger would give open answers to questions — “real” interviews, not just “nothing” interviews. Imagine how much clearer everything could have been if he had sat down after the Masters or the Players or the BMW Championship and run us through exactly what went on and what he was thinking. Not doing so only encouraged all kinds of rampant speculation and generally ill-informed conspiracy theories.
I hope all the players, their agenst and the Tour brass read Ogvily’s piece and take it into consideration. We’re just doing our job. Don’t take it personally. And if you make our lives easier, it’ll likely result in the same for you (of course, unless you really screw up).