Slime Cup gets thumbs up from Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa in bid to grow golf
It could make you think that the golf world has turned completely mad, but, in actual fact, hearing the likes of Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa talking about an event called the Slime Cup was a welcome distraction from the sport’s civil war.
At a time when talk around LIV Golf about “growing the game” has seemed cheap and hollow, Nickelodeon, a children’s TV channel, is making a real effort to tick that box.
The Slime Cup, which, as the name suggests, features lots of slime, involved four teams of three consisting of a professional golfer, a celebrity and a Nickelodeon star.
Thomas and Morikawa took part along with Jon Rahm and Lexi Thompson, with the winner receiving an orange blazer and, of course, getting slimed.
“I could chalk that up as things I never thought that I would do - be shown on Nickelodeon playing on a golf tournament at 29 years old, but I'm glad I was,” said PGA champion Thomas.
“It was really cool, how good of a job they did with it just with the display of it and the graphics of it and everything and the creativity that they have, and that's what it's all about.
“It's an opportunity for us to reach out of this group right here, you guys are going to see us play every week, whether it's on Golf Channel, SKY Sports, CBS, NBC, whatever it is.
“But to have the opportunity for the six or seven-year-old that's watching Nickelodeon every night with their family, their parents, golf looks pretty fun, pretty cool, like maybe I want to get involved in that.
“And, if it means that ten kids from however many watched that show that night decide they want to start playing golf, then I would call that a success.
“I promise you, if they had the opportunity to watch Paw Patrol or SpongeBob or the PGA Championship that night, they would choose the show on Nickelodeon.
“Some kids like me grow up saying, ‘oh, I want to win the PGA’. Some kids might say, ‘oh, I want to play in the Slime Cup’. It's bizarre to even just say and hear it come out of my own mouth, but if that's what it takes, that's what it takes. It got great feedback from people.”
Open champion Morikawa joked that he’d “hated” losing to Thomas, but, other than that, he also reckoned it was a winner in terms of trying to grow the game.
“Look, it was so much fun to get a group of not just golfers but celebrities and other athletes do that,” he said. “It was in a place that I actually grew up playing golf. We were there at Brookside Golf Course at the Rose Bowl (in Los Angeles) right where I grew up five minutes from my house.
“Never in a million years would I have thought that's where I would be playing golf in a Ninja Turtle outfit and getting slimed on.
“But it was so much fun. I think we all had a great time. It was something that I heard a lot of parents that I've grown up with that have other younger kids that enjoyed it; those are the texts that we like to see.
“Maybe that's what gets them interested because we were wearing mitts and couldn't hit a golf ball because it didn't look like golf. All the thoughts about what golf is can always be changed, and hopefully that's one way kids get introduced to the game.”
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.