Erin Walker and her husband, now a Tour winner
Erin Walker Blasts 'Soft' Golf Writers
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/15/13
Hat-tip: oober birdieXris

Every Sunday night, six writers for and Golf Magazine do an e-mail roundtable. In this past Sunday's edition, five of the six writers — Alan Shipnuck, Gary Van Sickle, Cameron Morfit, Joe Passov, and Josh Sens, lambasted most pro golfers for becoming "soft" as a result of larger purses on tour.

Thank Heaven that Erin Walker blasted the criticism right back at them.

The wife of recent first-time winner Jimmy Walker very helpfully explained that Walker didn't get to keep all $2,117,510 he earned on tour in 2013; Walker had to pay his caddie, swing coach, and agent, along with income taxes in the 12 states where Walker earned a check. And of course, travel, lodging, and food expenses add up, too — in Walker's case, over $100,000.

In their roundtable, two writers were especially critical of some of those golfers:
"But no doubt many talented players have grown fat and happy and failed to realize their potential, which may explain why this era has produced so few legends."
— Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated

"Too many players back off late in tournaments because of available money, FedEx Points, Ryder Cup points. In the days of my youth, it was all about the Ws."
— Joe Passov, senior editor, courses and travel, Golf Magazine
In response, Erin Walker really let them have it:
As a reward for his career-year, Jimmy took three weeks off from tournament play. ([Pro baseball player R.A.] Dickey's off-season is five months.) But with the new wraparound season upon us, Jimmy spent his "time off" back at the grindstone. Instead of sitting around and patting himself on the back, my husband went to the gym three times a week. He chipped and putted every day. He either played or hit balls every single day. And all this hard work paid off — when the new season began, he won. For the first time. In his 187th start, at the Open. Jimmy is always improving but it's not like he suddenly became a different player in those three weeks. He hadn't won before because golf is hard and all these guys are good.

And you know what was the first thing he said to his coach after his win? "Butch, I only hit 40 percent of my fairways. That has to change." Good enough to win is not good enough for my husband.
Ahhh... perspective.

For those of you who are interested, Erin Walker occasionally blogs at and tweets here. To be sure, unless you're one of the very top-ranked players in the world, being a professional golfer is nowhere hear a "safe" career path. Our proverbial hats are off to every man and women who takes a calculated risk and plays the game for a living.

Having written that, this writer admits to being envious of Joe Passov, who actually gets to travel widely and play many different courses all over creation. And then he gets paid to write about it.

(That lucky so-and-so...)

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Image by Erin Walker

[ comments ]
jasonfish11 says:
I thought this was going to be her blasting golf writers for being "soft." I assumed (after reading the title) she was blasting the likes of Brandle and others for apologizing for their opinions.
legitimatebeef says:
Fish makes a good point--"Soft" is not properly contextualized here. In any case good for her, even if her "blasting" was little more than a polite objection. My own issue with golf/sports writers is that they are smug and typically have that can't-touch-me, ivory tower attitude, which only seems to get worse the longer they are at it. Case in point, that cryptkeeper Dan Jenkins, or on a more immediate timescale, Chamblee. It is healthy for them (or all media or journalist types) to have their own BS thrown back in their face from time to time, unfortunately it doesn't happen nearly enough. People are too trusting of anyone with a prominent media voice.
windowsurfer says:
Perspective indeed. New guy in hell, has to select one of three horrible fates for all of eternity . . . chooses the room where everyone is standing around in sh!t up to their waists, having donuts & coffee . . . just then, a demon walks in and yells, "OK, coffee break is over. Back on your heads!" A select group of very fortunate, rich people pointing their fingers at other even richer, even more fortunate people and saying, "for shame!" Aren't all golf issues first-world problems? Does the Vietnamese kid who made Walker's golf shirt and 75 (750?) others like it in a day, every day, care about taxes on $2 schmill? Or how pricey an agent is? Or that golf is "hard"? C'mon!
H Head says:
Windsurfer ....... SPOT ON !!!!! It's like Pine Valley or Augusta members complaining about the greens being too slow, or the coffee too hot .. Ya...that life is "Hard" too .... they are oblivious to the real world .. have become blinded so to speak.

And 99.9% of the PGA golfers ARE SOFT in the truest sense of the word ... you can see it every week out there...the leaders back off and play ultra conservative to at the worst cash a big check....and the guys without a chance are the ones that usually go real low the last day, because they just go for it....ergo, sometimes the guys 9-10 strokes back get back in the hunt. SOFTTTTT ... was fun watching golf in the 60's 70's and 80's where the players pushed hard all the time, because of survival....they HAD to cash high, or they woudn't be out there very long. They didn't want to have to sell insurance in the off season.
falcon50driver says:
1st world problems.
legitimatebeef says:
You guys are mean. This woman was only trying to rebut some scumbag writers by saying her husband is not complacent, he actually busts his butt trying to be the best he can be and for that I say you go girl.
GBogey says:
Sorry, but I struggle with someone who made over $2 million this year complaining about how hard they work. Get real. Before I took up golf I once sat next to a lovely mid/low level LPGA player. I remember one comment from her well, "what do I have to complain about? I play golf for a living."
paz says:
How did that Joe Passov guy even get that job? Seems all he does is travel around and play $200 plus or private golf courses. How could he even know what hard work is? As for walker.. Going to the gym a few times a week and practicing golf is a grindstone? Cry me a river.
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