Does the grudge match have a future in professional golf?

The Match,” featuring Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau locked in mortal combat (or something close),  was mostly a bust. Koepka rolled to an easy win, and there were no big fireworks. Nobody yelled. Neither player hurled a club at the other. 

It was sort of like that scene in elementary school where the two biggest bullies agree to fight on the playground after school, drawing a big crowd. Then they kind of stand there and snort at each other without throwing a fist.

The flatness of the most recent Match isn’t likely to cast a dark shadow over the concept, however, perhaps especially because Phil Mickelson is the shaker and mover behind all this. He is perhaps at his best when he isn’t playing these days (except for occasionally parachuting in at Champions events to pick up a big check) but rather when he’s moving pieces – and people – around and creating traveling circus shows.

The challenge here is that professional golfers, generally speaking, aren’t combative. Competitive, for sure, but usually not to the extent of shoving an opponent into that pond beside the first par 3.

No, what the Match needs is some professional wrestling (sometimes known as wrasslin’) input.

What could these future Matches look like?

Standard golf attire will have to go. Players will wear colors that are even brighter (if that’s possible) and decorated with spangles and sprinkles. Some will show up at the course dressed in fake armor, with spikes protruding from their shoulders.

And there will be face paint. Lots of face paint. Kardashian levels of face paint.

Every player will have a manager. Not a manager for keeping up with the bulging bank account but one to accompany the player to the course. He (or she) will be quite obnoxious, yelling at opponents during putts and occasionally hitting an opposing player with a foreign object hidden in his underwear.

Players’ golf bags will be significantly modified so that they can include a folding metal chair to throw at opponents when necessary.

There will be a Match for women, and they will be dressed scantily. Kardashian levels of scanty.

The 18th green will be encircled by a cage. Two players enter. Only one leaves.

Some players will wear masks. Not pandemic masks. Full head-covering masks. To win, the opponent must rip off the mask to reveal the secret identity of the loser. 

This sort of match will require a special kind of announcer. With all due respect, Jim Nantz, you’re out. Welcome to the booth, David Feherty and Gary McCord. Charles Barkley, who has proven his worth in this setting, will provide on-course commentary. His nickname will be “Turrible.”

Instead of jumping off the top rope, Jordan Spieth will surprise his opponent by jumping onto the green from the cover of a huge bunker.

And, to keep things at a certain level of normalcy, Dustin Johnson will saunter along, nonplussed by it all.

Check out Stick & Hack Reacts from November 29th to get Adam’s and Keith’s unfiltered opinions on the underwhelming match.

Mike Hembree

Mike Hembree is a veteran journalist who has covered a variety of sports for numerous publications and websites, including USA Today, Fox Sports, TV Guide and The Greenville (S.C.) News. He has written 14 books and has won numerous writing awards at the national, regional and state levels. He is a seven-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.