In a bid to engage the ole audience at this lean time of year, Golf.com rolled out a user survey of the top golf stories of the year and…can this really be right? Only like 20 people voted per story? There must be some multiplier in there? …13,000 upvotes for the top story or some such?
Regardless, the winner for top golf-related story of the year that was: Arnold Palmer’s death.
Now, Palmer, who already battled cancer, had already exceeded the average life expectancy for an American male (76.72), so his death in September didn’t come as a surprise—especially given his frailty at the Masters and the Bay Hill Invitational earlier in the year.
Still, the King’s passing was rich with symbolic import and opportunities to reflect on his role in the growth of the modern game, the television era of golf, etc. The scribes simply couldn’t help themselves, much poetical waxing ensued, and the content poured forth.
And while you don’t want the death of an elderly individual to define a year in any professional sport, Palmer cast a very long shadow.
So we’ll allow it…AP’s death and all the bundled reflections are worthy of the top spot.
Interestingly, the No. 2 story: Henrik Stenson vs. Phil Mickelson at The Open, which was the most compelling drama at the majors…outside of the USGA’s colossal f-up at Oakmont.
Also high on the list: the U.S. Ryder Cup win, Dustin Johnson’s rules fiasco at the U.S. Open, Jim Furyk’s 58, Jordan Spieth’s Masters meltdown, Rory’s FedExCup win, Golf returns to the Olympics.
Golf’s return to our favorite biennial spectacle wasn’t a big hit among survey respondents, which isn’t surprising as pretty much everyone not named Justin Rose (the gold medal winner) felt the same way.
Anyway, whaddyou think CLICKON faithful, is the end of the King’s reign your top story of 2016?