Do you know who the 4 Aces are? I’m sure some of you do, as this is a sports website, after all. If you don’t though, shame on you. The 4 Aces are a championship winning professional sports franchise. They won the inaugural LIV Golf team championship.
Don’t be too impressed, though. How the teams in LIV were made up wasn’t exactly fair. It was mainly the captains of the team (air quotes) signing whoever the hell they wanted, and competitive balance really didn’t matter.
There were also players being added all throughout the season, so again, the standings weren’t to be taken too seriously.
All the Cool Kids Know the Aces
But according to LIV member, Bubba Watson, the only reason his son watches golf is because of the team’s LIV created.
“(Bubba and his son) were watching golf on the TV, and he knew the Aces – everybody knows the Aces, they keep winning. He knew the Aces, he knew the Stingers. He didn’t know individual names, he just knew the team names, and for a 10-year-old to never watch the game of golf but now watches it, now I knew that there was a product to be had,” Watson recently said.
There’s a lot to unpack there. Maybe most importantly though… you are a professional golfer and your 10-year-old child never watches golf? So I’m taking that as in, they don’t even watch their own father play golf. That sounds like a stretch.
Just for clarity, I know a lot of you need that. I am in no way saying the kid should be in love with golf because his dad plays it for a living. But to say he never watched the game before his dad moved to LIV. That sounds a little hard to believe.
Moving on from that, I can see where a 10-year-old has little interest in golf but then you throw some team names and logos on the screen and they become intrigued. Golf isn’t the most exciting sport. Goofy team names and silly logos appeal to younger fans. I get all that.
But what’s going to happen when the kid becomes an adult and realizes HY Flyers is a stupid team name. Or that he has no f’ing clue what a Cleek is. Silly names and bright colors won’t be as appealing. And apparently the kid doesn’t even watch his own dad play the sport so that’s out the window.
I Can Relate to This Kid
This kid sounds like me with WWE. I used to watch that shit all the time. When I was a little kid. Before I realized, it was scripted and made up. You could inject Austin 3:16 into my veins when I was nine.
Then I grew up and stopped smelling what the Rock was cooking.
This story plays right into the LIV narrative. That they’re growing the game. And that’s a great cause, right? But there’s more to that than just getting younger viewers.
Getting a younger demographic to watch more golf is great. But you also need to get them out on the course playing. And that is where it gets tricky.
Golf is expensive. Not everyone has a golf course near their house. It’s not the most accessible sport.
But LIV is building this narrative that they are going to grow the game. Bringing the sport to areas of the world that don’t get to see it often and try to grow it’s popularity there.
LIV just released their 2023 schedule and I don’t see how that aligns with the narrative. They have 14 events lined up, eight of which are in the United States. One is in Mexico, where there is a yearly PGA Tour event. One in London, which sees plenty of PGA players yearly.
Then the team championship is in Saudi Arabia, which just had a European Tour event played there and was won by Rory McIlroy, the best player in the world.
So recapping, there are 14 events and only three are in parts of the world that don’t regularly see top professional golfers. Not exactly growing the game.
Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports