Not to pick on Lefty, who won the Masters today. I just as easily could have put Fred Couples or my man Rocco Mediate or, gulp, Tiger Woods in the headline. This is not a post about anti-Semitic golfers. It’s about the lack of Semitic golfers.
It is one thing to not have any good players, but we barely have any players. None in the masters. None ranked.
We do have a few players who were born Jewish or have a Jewish parent. Corey Pavin was born Jewish but has publicly converted to Christianity and preaches Christ. Jim Oppenheim has a Jewish father but doesn’t consider himself Jewish at all. Jonathon Kaye is Jewish but isn’t really a factor in the golfing world. Also, Skip Kendall is supposedly Jewish, but I have no confirmation on that. So the PGA tour seems to be without a real J-E-W.
What do we have going for us in the Jewish golfing world?
The Great Rabbino’s answer is Tom Watson, who isn’t a Jew but is married to one.
The dearth is true. In the past three years, during which I have made many efforts to blog about Jewish athletes big and small (and biggest), I’ve never heard of a Jew on the PGA tour. The question is what gives?
Jews no longer are confined to inner-city sports like basketball and, to a lesser extent, baseball. In fact, the growth of the Jewish middle- and upper-middle class can be blamed from much of the Jewish decline on the hardwood. With so many Jews paying exorbitant country club dues, you’d expect to see a little better representation.