Jimmy Fallon has a tough act to follow. A Paulina Gretzky-shaped act, to be more specific. The Tonight Show host is the second-straight celeb to land on the front of Golf Digest and this one, to me anyway, feels a little more important.
The Gretzky cover was always a hyperbolic pitch to readers to get them talking about Golf Digest. It's the same reason Esquire puts George Clooney on the cover instead of that great story by Chris Jones. That great story by Chris Jones isn't sexy.
The Gretzky cover was always about Golf Digest. This Fallon cover feels like it's more about golf -- more specifically, the future of golf.
You know who golf could use as an ambassador? Somebody who bridges the generational gap between young and old. Somebody who makes golf sound as cool as it is.
Oh crazy, Fallon is perfect at that. And he seems willing to play the role on some level.
"Golf is totally cool. There are a lot of younger, good-looking people in the game, and the way people look at golf has definitely changed."
He also talked about why golf is important to him, which I think is a good way to look at the sport.
"'How do I find time for golf with a wife, an 8-month-old daughter and hosting ‘The Tonight Show'?' Fallon says. 'I make time for it.' Fallon adds: 'Golf is my meditation. I have a brain that's always thinking of a thousand ideas at a time. But when I'm on a golf course, it's quiet.'"
There was also, as there usually is, a terrific Tiger Woods story.
"That dude does not like to lose or be told what to do. On the second hole he hit the ball, and I said, 'Tiger, you know if you just shake the thing and move it forward you can put spin on the ball.' He looks at me and says, 'Don't tell me how to play my game.'"
Jimmy Fallon can't save golf -- I'm not saying that and I hope nobody else is -- but he can pitch in and help make the sport more attractive to kids.
And with shots (and reactions) like this, I think folks will buy it.