Men and women of the links consider themselves the most vigorous of people. That's why it has been a struggle for golfers to embrace erectile-dysfunction sponsorships.

To watch tournaments on TV is to be bombarded with the notion that impotence is widespread among golfers. Where does this perception come from? Demographics, surely. The bean counters at the drug companies must look at golf's actuarial tables and think, "This is the sweet spot."

And thank heavens for that.

Can you imagine what would happen if pharmaceutical companies stopped using golf to promote

Eli Lilly's

(LLY) - Get Report




Levitra and


(PFE) - Get Report

Viagra? It could mark the end of televised golf. With other sponsors scaling back, erectile dysfunction drugs have helped keep the sport on the air.

Consider the PGA Tour's tournament partners:


Many are bankrupt, going bankrupt or being scooped up by competitors.

U.S. Bancorp

(USB) - Get Report

isn't renewing its sponsorship deal in Milwaukee. What do

Friedman, Billings, Ramsey



Northern Trust

(NTRS) - Get Report


Banco Popular



(WFC) - Get Report


Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report



(BCS) - Get Report

; and

Deutsche Bank

(DB) - Get Report

have in common? They all sponsor PGA Tour events -- for now.

Real estate:

If you believe the housing market is headed for a quick recovery, I have a great home to sell you, with views of the 12th hole at Augusta National.

Ginn Resorts

foreclosed on its deals with the PGA and LPGA tours, and with professional golfer Cristie Kerr.


I haven't run the numbers, but I'm pretty sure Tiger Woods' net worth now exceeds that of former endorsement partner Buick. Sponsors Mercedes-Benz

( DAI),




(HMC) - Get Report

have all hit the skids recently.

For the good of the game, the golfing public needs to not only embrace erectile dysfunction, but get the word out on our other maladies and vices. Hay fever is already under control. Thanks for your support, Claritin.

Perhaps antidepressants like Paxil

(GSK) - Get Report

, Prozac

(LLY) - Get Report

and Zoloft

(PFE) - Get Report

could help us cope with our missed putts. Instead, we drown our sorrows with a refreshing


(BUD) - Get Report

, Coors Light

(TAP) - Get Report

or Stella Artois.

Did we mention that we like to gamble? Some of us are even going bald, hence the hats. "The Rogaine Invitational" -- can't you just see it?

If all this makes golfers uneasy, if our self-esteem starts to crack under the weight of these associations, let's ask ourselves: Do we prefer the Cialis Western Open or no Western Open at all?

Evan Rothman is a freelance writer living in Staatsburg, N.Y., and senior writer for


. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Men's Journal and other publications.