State of The Rcok

State of The Rcok
NFL News and Commentary

Sunday, April 5, 2015

On the Backs of Amatuers

Yesterday, Austin Cook,  a 21 yr old Monday qualifier -  was in the clubhouse 1 shot off the lead in Houston. If he wins, he will play at The Masters next week. Tour pros have their caddy's carry their huge tour bags. Cook sat his bag next to Mickelson's, it has a kick stand. He was pushing it around himself during the qualifier.

I am rooting hard for Jordan today, but if he doesn't win - I hope Cook does.

This morning the Golf Channel is covering the Drive Chip and Put contest at Augusta. Happy for the kids. However, unless they have rich dads, which many do - they will never play on the PGA or LPGA Tour. The First Tee promotes inner city kids learning the game. Most of them wont either. Why? Because only a select few have the talent? No. That is true, but there is another very real obstacle. Money!

As we look forward The Masters, lets not forget, A Bush was president of the USGA. 

Augusta didn't allow black members until 1990!  Here's a quote from former Augusta chairman Clifford Roberts:

"As long as I'm alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.

The first woman admitted was Condoleezza Rice for Christs sake. Get the picture?

Playing golf in most states is pretty affordable. You can play a round for about $40 if you shop around. Free training videos are all over the internet. Good used clubs can be found for a few hundreds dollars. On the other hand, Competing, anywhere near the professional level, is nearly unattainable for the average inner city kid or the rest of us working class Joe's and Jill's. 


Eliminating Q school was a strategic, profit driven move, made by the right wing corporate whores that run this game we love. What is Q School? In essence,  they are qualifying rounds, held at the beginning of the week of a PGA tourney. You win, you play on NBC or CBS that week. Pretty American right? "Give us your poor....give us your.....Wrong!

Corporations lobbied to elimate Q school and succeeded. Just like the Nationwide tour did - (PGA) and Symetra (LPGA) - run the minor leagues of golf on the backs of amateurs. It costs around $5000 to play in just one event. Playing well there - doesn't even guarantee you entry into a PGA event.

Unless you get corporate exemptions into a PGA event, there a very few ways to ever get on the professional tour without a trust fund.  

If Austin Cook can't close today in Houston. Don't fault him. As Phil stated this week. You have to play competitive rounds to compete at this level. You have to get in that position several times, and learn how to win. Cook will probably get exemptions and more chances. However, At $5000 per event, others like him will never even get one, unless their family has money. 10 events per year, $50,000, not including travel an lodging - that's most peoples life savings.

Shell Houston, The U.S. Open, and just a handful of other events deserve a great deal of praise as the last bastions of open competition.  If the PGA truly wants to grown the game - reinstate Q School, and make Monday qualifiers mandatory at ever non major event.

- Rick Jansen 

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