December 6, 2009

Golfers and Divorce

I haven't tried to look at the numbers, but my impression is that tour golfers have a higher divorce rate than is typical for men of their backgrounds: 95-120 IQ, some college, middle-class-to-wealthy upbringings, high levels of work ethic and emotional control, low to medium levels of gregariousness. Most articles I've read breaking down the high burn rate of golfers' money (they don't get free travel or lodging like team athletes do) include a line item for alimony. Presumably, it's the travel. Two quick divorces, though, are unusual: the caddies called Hal Sutton "Halimony" because he was paying two ex-wives, not the usual one. A whole passel of divorces, like John Daly's, is quite unusual -- he's never fit in on Tour culturally, and wouldn't have been out there but for his otherworldly skills.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but Slashdot is talking IQ tonight on this thread.

Anonymous said...

Steve, some things happen too fast for even golf fans like you to keep up with--Hal Sutton was reported to be splitting up with wife number three, and the mother of his two or three kids, earlier this year.
I follow golf closely though and I think you overstate the divorce rate. Daly and Sutton are the only ones that come to mind who probably have more exes than houses. I think in fact that divorce on the PGA Tour, though certainly not unnusual, may be more rare than for similarly situated guys in general. The travel is no doubt a killer of marriages, as Lee Trevino freely admits, but touring golfers just ain't crazy girl chasers like other pro athletes. I'd bet my (modest) house that the averages for baseball, the NBA and NFL are 3 times what they are for the Tour, as readers of this blog would probably be able to guess.


And yes, I would still say that after re-reading the news of the last 10 days.

OhioStater said...

Or its the time on the road and the easy ability to have affairs.

James Kabala said...

The Norman-Evert marriage disintegrated.

Anonymous said...

I looked into the numbers and their divorce rate is one standard deviation above that of others of their background. Keep in mind however that I don't know what the term standard deviation means.

Dan in DC

The Bear said...

Tiger's extramarital affairs are intesting, but golf is boring. Let's get back to college football. Roll Tide!

btw, The Blind Side was the top grossing movie last weekend. So you're right -- it's a hit. But the movie's success might have more to do with college football than feel-good race relations. I guess we'll find out when Clint Eastwood's new feel-good about race relations rugby movie, Invictus, comes out.

Dahlia said...

As I said the other day, Steve is in mourning over Tiger.

The thing that has surprised me most of all, and just came out, is that he corrupted some of his employees, some of whom were friends, by making them accessories to his affairs. Men dependent on him for their livelihoods, such as the bodyguards, were told to hunt for the most beautiful woman wherever they might be who met his criteria and bring her to him. It was a childhood friend and employee who arranged for one mistress to go to Australia.

That behavior does not mesh, at least to me, with that of a world-class golfer. So, why was he doing such evil things? I would like to believe in Steve's theory that steroid use could have altered Woods.

Jimmy Crackedcorn said...

I'd bet my (modest) house that the averages for baseball, the NBA and NFL are 3 times what they are for the Tour, as readers of this blog would probably be able to guess.

Not necessarily. Because you see, the first requirement for someone getting a divorce is that they be married.

This works in political arguments as well. Liberals often pounce on the higher divorce rates in blue states without noticing that marriage rates are lower in blue states, too.

The Blind Side was the top grossing movie last weekend. So you're right -- it's a hit. But the movie's success might have more to do with college football than feel-good race relations.

"The Blind Side" is being seen by adults who know how to pencil a movie in on their schedules, after they've found a mutually convenient time, "Yeah, two Saturdays from now seems good for me."

"New Moon" is being watched by hormonal girls from the ages of 12-Menopause who just can't wait to see Taylor Lautner with his shirt off.

Truth said...

"I'd bet my (modest) house that the averages for baseball, the NBA and NFL are 3 times what they are for the Tour, as readers of this blog would probably be able to guess.

Of course NBA and NFL players are also richer, younger, more masculine, more muscular, and more famous, with more groupies and more commercials and opportunities, as readers on this blog would probably be able to guess.

Or maybe not.

Whiskey said...

Steve -- A quick thank you for exposing me to Golf through your writings. Watched some Golf Channel during a bout of insomnia, wonderful game!

Re: Blind Side. It will probably make a bit more than the Grudge (which came in at around $110 million according to Box Office Mojo). It is at $129 now. That's not much that more than a bland remake of a Japanese horror movie. New Moon made $255 million and will probably close in on Iron Man territory ($300 million or so).

Money is money. Last time I checked, $255 > $129. Particularly IF Twilight fans can be persuaded to buy all the Special Edition DVDs. However, unlike Iron Man (which is not an active turnoff to women/girls), the Twilight stuff is poison to guys. They'll flee the room before watching it.

Richard Hoste said...

Check it out. Bill Clinton hearts Gladwell.

I think Malcolm Gladwell has become quite important. The Tipping Point was a very good observational book about what happened and how change occurred. But I think his last book, Outliers is even more important for understanding how we all develop and for making the case that even for people we view as geniuses, life is more of a relay race than a one-night stand by a one-man band or a one-woman band. I thought it was a truly exceptional book.

Black Sea said...

From Wikipedia, on Gary Player:

"Player married wife Vivienne on January 19, 1957, four years after turning professional. Together they have six children: Jennifer, Marc, Wayne, Michele, Theresa and Amanda. He is also a grandfather to 21 grandchildren.[4] During the early days of his career Player would travel from tournament to tournament with wife, 6 children, nanny and a tutor in tow."

I don't pay any attention to golf, but I watched on TV a biography of Gary Player, and thought this was interesting. He said that in his early days, his family would stay in two hotel rooms, which was pretty cramped, but this still stretched the family budget. On the other hand, it may have been cheaper, long-term, than subsidizing six mistresses, plus paying out hush money to various hangers on, followed by divorce lawyers' fees, and a lifetime of alimony.

John Seiler said...

What did you expect from Bill Clinton's favorite sport?

Anonymous said...

Dan in DC -

Just compute the igon values and the standard deviation will "pop right out".

Chris said...

Liberals often pounce on the higher divorce rates in blue states without noticing that marriage rates are lower in blue states, too.

Could you elaborate on this point?

Anonymous said...

Off topic: OK, which one of you guys registered igonvalue.com ?

Anonymous said...

However, unlike Iron Man (which is not an active turnoff to women/girls), the Twilight stuff is poison to guys. They'll flee the room before watching it.

Just what would we do without Whiskey/Testing99's brilliant insights?

Anonymous said...

the bodyguards, were told to hunt for the most beautiful women wherever they might be who met his criteria

Eh? Met his criteria - maybe. Most beautful women - no way, eye tests all round for the Woods entourage.

Anonymous said...

"Money is money. Last time I checked, $255 > $129. Particularly IF Twilight fans can be persuaded to buy all the Special Edition DVDs. However, unlike Iron Man (which is not an active turnoff to women/girls), the Twilight stuff is poison to guys. They'll flee the room before watching it."

Surely that depends on how hot the chick who wants to watch it is?

"Liberals often pounce on the higher divorce rates in blue states without noticing that marriage rates are lower in blue states, too.

Could you elaborate on this point?"

I assume he meant to say that 'liberals often pounce on the higher divorce rates in red states'.

Anonymous said...

Gary Player home-schooled his children?

On the road?

In hotel rooms?

And now he has 21 grandchildren?

That is awesome almost beyond my ability to describe awesomeness.

jody said...

i doubt there is even one PGA golfer with an IQ below 100. could be, but probably not. competitive golf is not something that the average athlete can even afford to do. if they were even interested in it in the first place, which they are not. hard to believe there is STILL discussion about this, despite the demographics of every PGA event. it doesn't even appeal to all higher IQ groups - where are all the jewish golfers? ideal sport for them it would seem, and yet, another group that has no interest in a sport that only americans think is a major one. it's not.

MLB and NBA players make far more than NFL players. NFL players don't make much money relatively speaking, and their careers are shorter.

it's one of the main reasons that it's complete baloney that black americans "left baseball for football". so, they left a less dangerous, higher paying sport, for a more dangerous, lower paying sport?

it totally contradicts the usual "there's no money" and "they are not interested" explanations for why any particular sport is not 100% black americans at the highest level, as many in the US sports media would have us believe.

eh said...

Slightly OT:

Study: Black-white grad rates widen

Black Sea said...

Just to clarify, I think Gary Player sometimes brought his family with him to tournaments. I don't think they always travelled with him. Whether or not they were home schooled, for years on end, I don't know.

Jimmy Crackedcorn said...

Could you elaborate on this point?

Yes, if you don't get married you don't need to get divorced. Marriage rates are higher in conservative states, lower in liberal ones. Fewer people in blue states are in the position to need a divorce, so blue states generally have lower divorce rates.

Is that a hard one to understand? It's kinda like asking why is Georgia home to fewer snow skiiers than Colorado.

Yago2046 said...

come on guys, is cheating on your wife "evil"? Give the guy a fucking break.

Eric said...

I haven't tried to look at the numbers, but my impression is that tour golfers have a higher divorce rate than is typical for men of their backgrounds: 95-120 IQ, some college, middle-class-to-wealthy upbringings, high levels of work ethic and emotional control, low to medium levels of gregariousness.

But the top guys on the tour are very wealthy and famous, in some circles. So they're more attractive to would-be mistresses. They travel more than normal guys, too, so they have more opportunity to stray.

I'm guessing Tiger's (at least) seven over par is the extreme end of the spectrum. But he's as rich as God and a household name, so he's more like a rock star in terms of opportunity.