Tommy burst onto the golf scene a few years ago as a contestant on the Golf Channel’s reality show Big Break. He wears two gloves while playing because of his days as a baseball player growing up. He certainly is not your typical PGA Tour Player, which is one reason why people follow him and cheer him on. He does not have a polished, traditional golf swing. He does not dress like he just stepped out of the pages of Golf Digest’s fashion section. He does not speak like he has a Harvard education. However, what he does do is play the game with passion, his way, and it is exciting to watch. I believe this is another reason why the average fan pulls for players like Tommy Gainey. They can see themselves in these types of players. Anytime a PGA Tour player is a bit unorthodox and has success, every fan says to the themselves “if that guy can do it so can .I. Players like Boo Weekley, John Daly and Rocco Mediate are of a similar mold. They may not look, sound or act perfect all the time but that is what the fans want to see. Fans can relate to a player that is more like them.
I believe Tommy Gainey will have a good career on the PGA Tour, not due to his talent but due to his drive, motivation and passion for the game. He obviously has talent; no one gets onto the PGA Tour by accident. However, what keeps them on tour is preparation, dedication and motivation. Like any other job or profession, success oftentimes comes down to the intangibles. Are you willing to put in the practice? Are you willing to learn, grow and stretch? I believe Tommy has all of those qualities.
I hope Tommy remains on tour for many years to come because the PGA Tour needs players like Tommy. No offense to the perfect swing, perfect-look players but they are not all that exciting to watch. However, what is exciting to watch is a player with a homemade-looking golf swing coming down the stretch on Sunday with a chance to win a tournament.
What type of players do you like to watch?