Jewish Journal


April 11, 2010

Why Phil Mickelson doesn’t golf with Jews


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.

The Great Rabbino explains:

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.

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