SI/GOLF.com anonymous player poll: PGA Tour pros, unfiltered, sound off!

March 16, 2017

Is Jason Day too slow? Does Rory McIlroy lift too much? Will Tiger win again? GOLF.com’s Jessica Marksbury asked 50 PGA Tour players for their take on these topics and more. Scroll down to read their unfiltered opinions.

Who has the best short game on Tour?

Phil Mickelson: 26%
Jordan Spieth: 8%
Patrick Reed: 8%
Aaron Baddeley: 8%
Jason Day: 6%
Me: 6%
Freddie Jacobsen: 4%
Don’t know/other: 34%

Who is the best putter on Tour?

Jordan Spieth: 37%
Aaron Baddeley: 12%
Jason Day: 10%
Me: 10%
Brandt Snedeker: 8%
Hideki Matsuyama: 4%
Wesley Bryan: 4%
Other: 15%

Who is the best ballstriker on Tour?

Charles Howell III: 16%
Me: 14%
Henrik Stenson: 10%
Boo Weekley: 10%
Adam Scott: 8%
Rory McIlroy: 8%
Lucas Glover: 6%
Dustin Johnson: 4%
Kevin Chappell: 4%
Justin Thomas: 4%
Justin Rose: 4%
Sergio Garcia: 4%
Other: 8%

Loose lips: “Kevin Streelman for irons, and DJ with the driver.”

Which player does the most with the least?

William McGirt: 10%
Me: 6%
Zach Johnson: 6%
Jerry Kelly: 6%
Zac Blair: 4%
Colt Knost: 4%
Jim Furyk: 4%
Webb Simpson: 4%
Other: 34%
Don’t know/no comment: 22%

Loose lips: “I think I would be high on that list.”
“It depends on how you define raw talent.”

Are you concerned that players are taking PEDs that are undetectable through a urine test?

NO: 84%
YES: 16%

Loose lips: “They might be, but I’m not worried about it.”
“They are, but I’m not concerned.”

Should the PGA Tour conduct blood testing?

NO: 58%
YES: 34%
Don’t care/no comment: 8%

Loose lips: “Yes. It should be a proper test.”
“It would be easier that way.”
“I think we’re going to, aren’t we?”
“If we’re looking for PEDs that aren’t detectable in a urine test, we have to.”
“Yes, if we’re serious about testing for PEDs.”

Should the PGA Tour publicize its disciplinary actions against players?

Loose lips: “No. We have the public’s trust. Why mess with that?”
“It depends what it’s for.”
“One hundred percent YES.”
“No. They’ve got to protect our image.”

Have you ever been fined or disciplined by the PGA Tour?

NO: 78%
YES: 22%

Loose lips: “No, but I’ve been threatened.”
“Not on this Tour.”
“I’ve been warned numerous times.”
“I was fined $200 for peeing on the golf course once. I mean, what could I do? There weren’t enough port-o-johns!”

Should the PGA Tour break from the USGA and play by its own rules?

YES: 62%
NO: 34%
No comment: 4%

Loose lips: “Completely.”
“The idea has merit, but it would be hard to implement.”
“No, but changes need to be made.”
“One hundred percent YES.”
“The USGA messed up, but that doesn’t mean we should break from their rules.”

Who puts on a better tournament: PGA of America or USGA?

USGA: 4%
Neither: 8%
Don’t know/no comment: 14%

Loose lips: “There are less antics with the PGA of America.”
“That’s a tough one. It depends on the event and site.”

Should the USGA and the PGA of America move their events from Donald Trump-owned courses?

Loose lips: “No. They should stick with the best venue, period.”
“I think it was appropriate to separate themselves from him during the election, but now that he’s president, they should only move events if he’s impeached or something.”
“Absolutely not.”
“No. Politics aside, they should secure the best possible venue.”

Does golf belong in the Olympic Games?

YES: 68%
NO: 30%
Don’t know: 2%

Loose lips: “I would have said no. But the Olympics surprised me last year. Now I say yes.”
“Yes, but it should be for amateur players only.”
“It’s too early to tell.”
“No. Golf is so different. We’re not the same as other athletes.”

Should the Olympics be turned into a team event?

YES: 80%
NO: 16%
Don’t know: 4%

Loose lips: “Yes, there should definitely be both an individual and team aspect, like gymnastics.”
“They need to tweak the field qualification process.”
“That would be cool to see.”
“I don’t know. They did all right last year.”
“It should be like the NCAA Championship, with both team and individual competitions.”

Do you think it’s your responsibility to grow the game?

YES: 78%
NO: 20%
Don’t know: 2%

Loose lips: “A little.”
“Yes. It’s why we play the game.”
“Yes. It’s everybody’s responsibility.”
“It’s ours, as a group.”
“It’s everyone’s. We all represent the game.”
“We should make it appealing so it sells itself.”

Does Rory lift too much?

Loose lips: “No. Brandel Chamblee talks too much.”
“It seems to be working for him!”
“If you start to injure yourself, it’s too much.”
“No. Tiger does.”
“Hey, he’s making money.”

The gym for golfers: overrated, underrated or appropriately valued?

Appropriately valued: 66%
Overrated: 24%
Underrated: 6%
Don’t know: 4%

Loose lips: “When the gym is used the right way, it’s good.”
“Working out is a part of the game now. It’s as important as practicing your putting.”
“It depends on the player.”
“It depends. Some guys haven’t lifted since college, and other guys would be affected if they missed a single workout. It’s different for everyone.”
“It’s appropriately valued when you’re in your mid-30s.”

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Is slow play a problem on the PGA Tour?

YES: 84%
NO: 16%

Loose lips: “It’s not as big a deal as people make it out to be.”
“Rookies are too slow because they overanalyze everything.”
“One million percent YES.”
“It’s a small problem.”
“Only a few guys cause a problem.”

Should the PGA Tour institute a shot clock?

NO: 58%
YES: 40%
No comment: 2%

Loose lips: “I’m not opposed.”
“No, there are other ways without doing that.”
“There have to be other solutions.”
“I like the idea, but there has to be something better.”
“How about we enforce the current rules instead?”
“No, we just need more common sense. It’s silly when a guy takes forever from the middle of the fairway. There needs to be give and take.”
“How about we enforce something sometime? And not on a 13-year-old kid at the Masters. What a joke!”
“There is no way that’s going to happen.”
“Yes, and we need to enforce penalties.”
“No, but slow players need to penalized. They’re hurting the field.”

Does Jason Day play too slowly?

YES: 42%
NO: 26%
Don’t know/no comment: 32%

Loose lips: “No. He’s in the last group a lot, and the last group is always slower.”
“The last group gets to do whatever they want.”

Who’s the fastest player on Tour?

Matt Every: 18%
Me: 18%
Matt Jones: 14%
Bill Haas: 8%
Colt Knost: 6%
Dustin Johnson: 4%
Other: 18%
Don’t know/no comment: 14%

And the slowest?

Ben Crane: 21%
Kevin Na: 17%
Jason Day: 11%
Jordan Spieth: 8%
Andrew Loupe: 4%
Other: 19%
Don’t know/no comment: 20%

Loose lips: “Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Ben Crane, the list goes on and on.”
“There’s a whole group of players. It’s hard to single one out.”
“Ben Crane. Love you, man, sorry!”

Does the modern ball fly too far?

Loose lips: “Not mine!”
“New technology is closing the gap. Everyone can hit it far and straight now, with a softer touch.”
“We’re stuck. We need to either make courses longer or the ball shorter.”
“For Dustin Johnson, yes.”
“Hell yeah! And I’m a short hitter.”
“No. when the ball goes far, it’s more fun.”

Should the Players Championship be moved to March and the PGA to May?

YES: 66%
NO: 22%
Don’t know: 12%

Loose lips: “That would be a much better fit.”
“We have to, if we want to avoid competing with the NFL.”

Would you like to see fewer events and more of an offseason on the PGA Tour?

YES: 52%
NO: 46%
No comment: 2%

Loose lips: “No. It’s all for us. Sponsors know that some events won’t have the strongest field, but it’s a business. It’s as much about making money for themselves as it is for us.”
“It would be nice to have a 4-5 week off-season.”
“Yes please!”
“No, it’s perfect.”
“Yes. We need to make people miss it.”

Would you be willing to wear a microphone during a competitive round for the TV broadcast?

Loose lips: “As long as I’m not the only one!”
“It would have to be Pay-Per-View for mature content!”
“Sure…just give me two years to practice not cussing.”
“Yes. If there was a guarantee I wouldn’t get fined. It’s really bad actually. Hard to swing.”
“Yes. But it might be like watching an episode of Hard Knocks.”
“We’d need tape delay!”
“I’ve tried it. No.”
“I’ve done it before and I won’t do it again.”
“That might actually help me. It would keep me from doing or saying crazy stuff.”

Would you rather win one time a year on Tour for the next decade or win the Masters but never win another event in your career?
Once a year: 60%
One Masters: 36%
Can’t decide: 4%

Loose lips: “Can I choose the Masters plus 10 events?”

What’s the worst course on the current PGA Tour schedule?

TPC Four Seasons Resort (Byron Nelson): 14%
TPC New Orleans (Zurich Classic): 12%
Torrey Pines (Farmer’s Insurance Open): 10%
TPC San Antonio (Valero Texas Open): 4%
PGA National – Champion (Honda Classic): 4%
TPC Summerlin (Shriners): 4%
Waialae Country Club (Sony Open): 4%
None: 10%
Don’t know/no comment: 16%
Other: 22%

Loose lips: “They’re all good. It just comes down to whichever one you don’t like.”
“It has to be one of the 17 TPC couses we play right in the middle of the season.”
“There are no bad courses. Except Torrey Pines.”
“We’re pretty spoiled. It’s hard to come up with one.”

Do PGA Tour caddies deserve a cut of the revenue from the sponsorships on their bibs?

NO: 54%
YES: 44%
Don’t know: 2%

Loose lips: “They already do, don’t they?”
“No. The money they deserve trickles down to them.”
“They deserve that as much as I deserve to be paid to play a Wednesday pro-am.”
“No, they have their own deals.”
“Sure, why not?”
“Not a cut, but I think covering their health insurance is fair.”
“Yeah. It might help them to be less jaded. They’re working hard too.”

Will Tiger win another Tour event?* 

YES: 66%
NO: 28%
Hope so: 6%

Loose lips: “I want to say yes.”

(*This question was asked days before Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic in early February.)

Will Tiger win another major?

NO: 72%
YES: 16%
Hope so: 8%
Don’t know: 4%

Would you rather play in a Super Bowl, a World Series or an NBA Final?

Super Bowl: 48%
World Series: 28%
NBA Final: 22%
Stanley Cup: 2%

Loose lips: “The World Series. You get hit in the Super Bowl!”
“I’ll say NBA Final, even though I think the Super Bowl is the best sporting event.”