There is still some disagreement on whether or not the Tiger Era is over, but mainly because there is no definition of what the’Tiger Era’ actually means in terms of professional golf. ‘Era‘ is a period of time marked by distinctive character, events, etc. according to Dictionary.com. (Hard not to make a tiny joke about the distinctive character in question.) There is little denying that since the 1996 “Hello World” announcement by Tiger Woods, that professional golf as we knew it, changed. Whether measured in terms of the increase of golf fans, the change in television coverage or the sky rocket in tournament purses, the landscape was different than it had been before. The reason… Tiger Woods dominated golf in a way that no one had before. Unlike Palmer, Nicklaus and Watson before him, none of Woods’ contemporaries seemed up to the task of taking him down at the big moments. In fact, they all seemed to fall away when his name even cast a shadow on a leader board.
That’s how I define the Tiger Era and we’re clearly not in it right now, nor have we been since that Thanksgiving two years ago. I will say, that it would not shock me to see Tiger return to good form or even to eclipse Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. But if he does, I would see it as the Phoenix Era (rising from the ashes). Many are still hoping for Tiger’s return, and that would be exciting for golf fans. But in the meantime or just in case, how do we recover from the Tiger Era?
There are so many great players, but no one is dominating. Will it be Luke or Rory or Keegan? What if none of them emerge as the guy who contends for every major championship? The reality is that many people just won’t be as interested in watching golf. For me though, my interest has shifted as I’ve learned more about all of these other amazing talents. Before, Tiger got most of the attention and we didn’t learn much about the other players. As it turns out, some of them have terrific personalities and aren’t afraid to engage the press or the public. They are worth watching and they are worthy of having great fans. If you want to rekindle your love of professional golf after the ‘age of Tiger’, I suggest signing up for a Twitter account and start following some of these guys as they go through their daily lives. They’re fun and funny and you get a sense of their character. Yes, social media may be the thing that tides us over until the next great era in professional golf or maybe we’ll all learn to love great rivalries between a few good men!