Bishop's trolling is par for his course

RSS

You might have rolled your eyes when outgoing PGA of America president Ted Bishop sang the praises of something called "footgolf" as part of his unending grow-the-game initiative.

You probably shook your head when Bishop acted in defiance of the USGA and R&A after anchored putting was deemed illegal starting next year.

You were right to have been hoppin' mad when the man with "USA" shaved into the side of his head watched his hand-picked Ryder Cup captain get picked apart by the team's veteran leader after another loss, then slunk away that evening without ever facing the music himself.

For all of Bishop's cockeyed, obtuse and, often, egocentric adjudications, though, none have been so profoundly doltish as his latest social media rantings, which left him sounding less like an industry leader than a frustrated fan reduced to message board trolling.

In case you missed it, Bishop challenged Ian Poulter for his recent criticisms of both Nick Faldo as 2008 European captain and Tom Watson in the role for the U.S. this year. But it wasn't that he chirped at a player that was so perplexing. It was what he said and how he said it.

Perhaps hoping to make one more self-serving headline before his tenure ends next month, or more likely not knowing how to keep from creating another one, Bishop referred to Poulter as a "Lil Girl" on Twitter. For greater effect – and to ensure there would be no cry of an ill-timed hacking – he said Poulter "sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess" on Facebook.


Golf Channel exclusive: Poulter reacts

Timeline: Poulter vs. Bishop


The insinuation isn't just categorically immature, it also reeks of sexism from a man whose mission has been to grow the game amongst the masses.

The posts were deleted after about an hour, with the PR-framed apologies quickly falling in line, but the message remained.

After all, it was also through Twitter where in the aftermath of this latest imbroglio some women took to summarily criticizing the ol' boys' network which has governed the game for so long.

"Not the best strategy to grow the game," one woman tweeted. "People & comments like Bishop's are why women don't play."

Added USA Today columnist Christine Brennan in a tweet, "When will the struggling golf industry realize its sexism is terrible for business?"

This is the same Bishop who, when the R&A recently voted to include female members for the first time, took it upon himself to offer the following statement: "Women have played and will continue to play an integral role in the game of golf. In fact, women represent the biggest growth market in the sport, and every step to make golf more inclusive is good for the game."

That comment sounds especially ostentatious in the wake of his misogynistic tone toward Poulter.

If Bishop wasn't already being relieved of his duties soon, this latest embarrassment would be enough to call for a resignation.

Instead, it will unceremoniously mark the end of a narcissistic reign during which the PGA president curiously infused himself as part of the regular news cycle. It will remain as a lasting memory of a presidency that featured too much face time, too much self-absorption and too many ill-fated decisions.

For a man who so often reminds us that he represents the 27,000 men and women who serve as PGA of America members, there’s little doubt that today many of those members will remind us that he doesn’t wholly represent their views, either.