With money riding on the outcome, fans would have a greater rooting interest in professional golf, reader contends
Gambling would generate not only revenue but also eyeballs and buzz. It certainly would increase my interest in the non-major tournaments (“New year touts golf gambling as almost a sure thing,” Jan. 2).
Unless there is someone in contention for whom you are rooting to win or lose – which probably was the case with the finish of the recent Sentry Tournament of Champions – having an interest in a player or two is going to get folks to tune in to the Sony Open, Houston Open or Colonial.
I doubt that the NFL would have become America’s pastime without point spreads. There are NFL fans yelling about offensive pass interference from the weekend’s play, but most of those protesting are not diehard Saints fans wearing black and gold. They’re folks having to pay bets (yes, I know the spread was covered, but have you ever heard of the money line and teasers?).
Now, I agree that betting and watching do not necessarily equate to getting those viewers who do not play much golf to go and get out their clubs (I don’t get the urge to go throw a football after watching an NFL game), but if even a small percentage decide to, hasn’t that promoted the game?
Every major sport offers “games of chance” (as do day trading or options trading, if you’re not athletically inclined or really feeling prescient or lucky). Why not golf?
El Paso, Texas
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