So no, I wasn’t in Nova Scotia on Friday, but I did watch the ‘tournament’ on television.
Tiger Woods, along with friend and former NBA all-star Charles Barkley and coach Hank Haney played in a 9-hole charity event at the exclusive and pristine Fox Harb’r Golf Resort near Wallace, Nova Scotia on Friday. The event raised money for the Tiger Woods Foundation and the Canadian Golf Association.
Rumor has it, spectators paid $7,000 each to walk the course with the group. Furthermore, according to a media article, a few members were offered an opportunity to play the preceding nine holes with Tiger for $70,000 each (or $7,777 a hole, or, based on shooting bogey golf, $1,555 a shot).
Fox Harb’r is owned by Tim Hortons magnate Ron Joyce – the gent who partnered with Tim himself in the 60’s and then took the company to its eventual 65% market-share of the Canadian coffee industry. Joyce has apparently been trying for years to get Tiger to come and play his course, and interestingly enough, Tiger didn’t even spend the night. He flew in, played some golf, and left the same day.
Ron Joyce, very nearly a billionaire and entering his 80th year, seems to have a good heart. He’s a substantial donor to universities and one would think is well regarded by Canadians (though I’m sure the sale of Tim Hortons to Wendy’s a few years ago might have altered peoples’ impressions). He’s a yachtsman, owning at least a couple of boats exceeding 100′ each in length, whose names are, creatively enough, Destination Fox Harb’r and Destination Fox Harb’r Too.
Despite the spectacle of the visit of Tiger Woods to Canada only days removed from the US Open, TSN‘s one-hour televised portion of the tournament was, unfortunately, a joke. I would estimate that they only showed about 10 minutes of gameplay. Viewers watched a shot, then a brutally shallow, forgiving and uninteresting interview with one of the players, then a shot, then a commercial for Fox Harb’r Resort, then a shot, then a 3 minute promotion for Nike, and why Tiger thinks it’s the greatest golf equipment ever… And I’d say between 6 and 8 commercial breaks, all in a 60-minute time slot. Some seriously lacking imagination in the advertising and marketing departments at TSN, Nike and Fox Harb’r. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that a massive yacht was parked right off shore of the golf course. One would only have to guess that it was one of Joyce’s ships.
If I had $7,000 floating around, yeah, I would have probably walked the course. Tiger Woods is one of my greatest heros in many respects, and I would love to meet him one day. Walking the course certainly would have beat watching what was shown on TV. Working in advertising, I could almost see the producers running out of ideas on how to broadcast this event while satisfying the many sponsors and participants… Too bad; it looked like fun. I’m glad all the money went to charity.