Geoff Ogilvy on Tiger, Chamblee and the media

A golf journalist accused Tiger Woods of being “cavalier with the rules”, here is Geoff Ogilvy’s take on it.

geoffogilvyGeoff Ogilvy has written a great article in the latest edition of Golf World discussing the recent furore between golf journalist Brandel Chamblee and Tiger Woods.

Ogilvy has outlined what he thinks the role of journalists and broadcasters should be:

Journalists and broadcasters should not be mere cheerleaders. There’s too much of that in golf right now, to be honest. And not nearly enough untainted honesty. If correspondents do nothing more than claim how great everything is, any semblance of reality is lost. Good things happen on tour every day — and bad things too — which is how it should all be reported. I have to believe that’s what most people want, an accurate representation of events and issues. Anything else is an insult to our collective intelligence.

But he also points the finger firmly at Woods for his role in some of these issues:

Brandel Chamblee
Brandel Chamblee

Much of what went on between Tiger and Brandel could have been avoided if Tiger would give open answers to questions — “real” interviews, not just “nothing” interviews. Imagine how much clearer everything could have been if he had sat down after the Masters or the Players or the BMW Championship and run us through exactly what went on and what he was thinking. Not doing so only encouraged all kinds of rampant speculation and generally ill-informed conspiracy theories.

Go and read the whole article from Geoff Ogilvy here, it’s a great read.

The back story
Now if you haven’t been playing along at home with all this, here is a quick summary on what all of this is about.

On October 15, golf journalist at Golf.com and The Golf Channel Brandel Chamblee penned at article titled “Brandel Chamblee’s PGA Tour season grades are in — and Tiger Woods gets an ‘F’” that included one provocative paragraph on Woods’ season:

When I was in the fourth grade, I cheated on a math test and when I got the paper back it had “100” written at the top and just below the grade, was this quote, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!” It was an oft-quoted line from the epic poem “Marmion” by Sir Walter Scott, and my teacher’s message was clear. Written once more beneath that quote was my grade of “100”, but this time with a line drawn through it and beneath that an F. I never did ask my teacher how she knew I cheated and I certainly didn’t protest the grade. I knew I had done the wrong thing and my teacher the right, but I never forgot the way I felt when I read that quote.

I remember when we only talked about Tiger’s golf. I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and … how shall we say this … was a little cavalier with the rules.

Tiger Woods dropChamblee was referring to Woods’ numerous rules infringements in 2013 which included the dodgy drop in Dubai, Tiger’s infamous Masters drop and the more recent ‘trial by TV’ when Woods was handed a two-shot penalty for moving his golf ball.

In my opinion, he didn’t knowingly skirt the rules of golf and he copped the proper penalties handed to him.

But the point at which most golf fans and journalists (myself included)  lost admiration for Woods’ integrity was his blatant denial the golf ball had moved at the BMW Championship, even when shown the slow-motion footage. See for yourself, it’s subtle but there is no doubt it moved.

All he needed to do was accept the golf ball had moved when you viewed the slow-motion video, and move on. His denial was astounding.

Chamblee’s piece stated that Woods has been “cavalier with the rules” in 2013. Woods was obviously not happy.

No one is quite sure what Woods’ reaction was to the piece but his manager did hint that legal action may follow and it led Chamblee to apologise on The Golf Channel and on Twitter.

Chamblee was not fired from The Golf Channel (despite several reports hinting that he would be) and it appears the dust has settled on this mess.

It remains to be seen if Woods will take Ogilvy’s advice on board – or (more likely) whether Ogilvy will be crossed off Woods’ Christmas card list.

2 thoughts on “Geoff Ogilvy on Tiger, Chamblee and the media

  • December 5, 2013 at 19:01
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    If Tiger has done these things then he is cheating himself but who are we to stand in judgement of him. I don’t eat at his table and I doubt he and I will ever play together. Late at night he has to live with himself in those wee small hours when he looks in the mirror that’s when it will hit home if he has a concience. The game is bigger than Tiger Woods, or any other player for that matter. He is not bringing the game into disrepute if these allegations are true then he is bringing himself into disrepute. I remember a very good friend of mine telling me time will either promote you or expose you.

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  • December 5, 2013 at 19:04
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    I believe Tiger is/has indeed been very liberal with the rules. He certainly I feel has pushed the boundaries and I don’t have an issue with Brandel Chamblee or any media commentator commenting on it. That is the fact to which they are employed, for giving opinion/assessment.

    Yes, Chamblee may have with hindsight gone about his words differently, that’s for him to be only answerable to, again though I don’t have an issue with him commenting.

    I believe Tiger is quite simply used to no one actually calling him out on anything, hence his management/suck holes who live off him and his earnings call ‘law suit’ threats at the drop of any hat. The fact is, in their eyes, being the golfing cash cow he has been, they will not hear of him being anything but perfect.

    Geoff is right and Tiger is bland in interviews, say’s absolutely nothing unless the interviewer is praising his socks off and for the hundreds of millions Tiger has derived from the game, I feel he has an obligation to be more forthcoming. I don’t feel this is too much to ask, as it respects the game, more so it respects the journalist covering, plus importantly, the viewer with quality, fortright and truthful answers, not PR constructed spin we can derive anywhere. (Anyone listened to cricketer Micahel Clarke and his vanilla / beige tripe!)

    The viewer is ultimately a part of the masses that become the huge TV audience that allows TV companies to bring the millions into the game for the coverage rights they purchase and to which Tiger and all golfers enjoy the benefits of.

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