BlackJack Fletcher: Why Golf Is the Only Sport I Refuse to Bet

BlackJack Fletcher: Why Golf Is the Only Sport I Refuse to Bet article feature image

The Highlights

  • BlackJack has good reasons for not betting on golf: He doesn’t play or watch the sport at all. 
  • Oh, and his ex-in-laws would watch golf on their television all the time. Even on NFL Sundays. That’s crazy talk.

People ask me quite frequently if I bet on golf. They’ll ask who I think will win the Masters, or whether Phil Mickelson can finally win the U.S. Open. My response is always the same, “I don’t bet golf.”

There are several reasons why I chose to eschew the game that Mark Twain referred to as “A good walk, spoiled.”

First, I don’t play golf regularly. I’ve played a handful of times in my life, and quite frankly, I stink at it and don’t really enjoy it. I’ve had people try to tell me it’s an excuse to go out with your buddies and drink on the weekends.

Sounds good, but I don’t need an excuse to do that. Sometimes I like to go out to a driving range and hit some balls, but that is about the extent of my enjoyment in golfing activities.

Second, I don’t enjoy watching golf. Now, let me be clear, if I catch wind of an interesting Sunday in a major, I’ll turn it on and watch. But the idea of watching a four-day tournament, with announcers basically whispering over soothing, mellow music, just makes me want to take a nice, little nap. If I do tune in, half the time they don’t even show the players I want to see. I don’t find it an enjoyable sport to watch on TV.

Third, I don’t like betting on golf. I don’t know enough about it, the field is too large and I don’t see value in it. That isn’t to say that guys like Jason Sobel, or Bryan Mears, or Sleeze don’t find value, because they do. I’m simply saying I don’t find the value because I don’t know enough about the game, the courses, the players or any aspect of the sport.


Fourth, and possibly most importantly, golf triggers a Pavlovian response in me. When I was married, my former in-laws would watch golf on their television all the time. 

Not just live tournaments, but re-runs of tournaments from months or years ago. And not just on weekends.

NFL Sundays? Golf.

Thanksgiving? Golf.

Christmas? Golf.

Endless rounds of golf. Anyone who is or has been married knows the joys of spending time at your in-laws, now imagine it being a non-stop barrage of constant golf. PGA, LPGA, European Tour, anything you can imagine.

So, yeah, the other three reasons are probably valid, but this one here, this one is the biggest reason I don’t bet golf.