As I was watching the Open from Royal Liverpool, a graphic came on the screen showing all the Championship winners at that venue going back to 1897. They were some of the giants of the game: Hagen, Hilton, Jones, Taylor, Thompson, and De Vincenzo, just to name a few. Then the commentator for the American broadcast said the following: “And for golfers in the United States, the only familiar name in the group is Tiger Woods.” The two professional golfers in the booth said nothing. I, on the other hand, would have said something like, “Come on, give the American golfer a little more credit than that for historical knowledge.” Then again, very little effort goes into presenting the historical perspective on a golf broadcast these days. It is sad, really, that a game as old and steeped in tradition as golf has just about abandoned its past. I can be watching a baseball game, and if something out of the ordinary happens, immediately the crew will have details about the last time a play like that occurred, even if it was 100 years ago. I have often wondered why golf is not like that. A few years back, I wrote a column for Golf Teaching Pro magazine titled, “Don’t just teach golf, teach history, too.” Maybe golf history is not that important on the grand scale of life. But, regardless of the subject, history is relevant to our understanding of other people and ourselves. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the actions of our forbearers. Growing up, I devoured books about the past. When the subject was golf, I learned about honesty from Bobby Jones and competitiveness from Walter Hagen. In a word, history taught me values. Too bad golf pays so little attention to it today. On the same broadcast, they joked that Bubba Watson had no idea who the Beatles were. Is that something to be proud of? I grew up with the group, but I also know Louie Armstrong, Sinatra, Jolson, and Goodman. That’s because in my time, people thought the past should be remembered. I just wish more people in golf today felt the same way.  
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