Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Big Break

The Golf Channel has a "reality" show called The Big Break. On this show aspiring professional golfers compete for a chance to play on a professional tour and other prizes. In the beginning the shows held my interest. The golfers have to depend upon their skills to compete, and a participant is eliminated at the end of each show. There are usually two programs each year, one involving men and one women. In one case there was a program involving both sexes.

It seems that with each succeeding show the competition has descended farther into the dungeon of poor sportsmanship. The current show, The Big Break, Kaanapali is where I draw the line. This week's episode involved one golfer intimidating another, of whom she is very jealous, to the point that the young woman was almost eliminated. This incident is an example of the type of behavior the golfing community prides itself in avoiding.

If you watch a golf tournament, you are inundated with videos explaining how golf teaches youth honesty and good sportsmanship. The Golf Channel is supposed to be golf's face to the world, yet it exploits and probably encourages bad behavior and poor sportsmanship in one of its premier shows. As a golfer myself, I am appalled at the way this show has become a good girl/bad girl competition. The same is true for the men, but, so far, I haven't seen it as openly demonstrated on the men's shows. However, I expect the next series will be just as bad. It's a shame to see golf demeaned for the purpose of TV ratings.

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