One of the most intriguing things about professional golf is that the performers are only paid for results.
Sponsors invest millions into the PGA Tour for one reason: they see the ultimate benefit of generating more profits.
Every Sunday afternoon approximately when the leaders are playing the 11th or 12th hole, TV coverage is interrupted to present a message from a high-ranking officer of the company who is the sponsor that week.
They say nice things about the course thank a lot of people and declare the image of the PGA Tour is one they love to identify with for their customers, employees and retirees.
The representative will also assert how much the tournament will “give back” to the local community and it’s usually an impressive amount.
By offering a lucrative overall purse, organizers attract some of the finest golfers in the world to compete in their championship for prize money.
The players qualify for the opportunity to perform through a highly complex set of criteria, but the bottom line is simple – shoot a low enough score and people will pay to watch you. In fact, if you can do it over four rounds, you earn over $1-million and a big trophy.
Think about a golf ball struck by a club head travelling 120 mph, propelling a ball 1.64 inches in diameter a speed of over 170 mph that covers distance of about 300 yards. I
In this equation, a club face two degrees off line would incur a result that could determine the difference between a player finishing first or third with an accompanying difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Any number of factors can have financial implications, such as wind, rain, a wet spot in the fairway, a slight bounce, no bounce, nerves, experience and various clubs in the player’s bag.
In today’s big show, every player who makes the cut gets paid, but excluding unusual circumstances, they get paid an amount that coordinates with the number of players one outperforms.
Sink a 50-foot putt and move up four money spots. Flub a chip and miss the cut. Anything can impact the player’s take home pay.
Lots of sports pay prize money for individual performance, but I wonder if that shouldn’t be the case in every sport.
What if a rookie scored 100 goals and helped his team to win the Stanley Cup? What if a second-year player pitched three no-hitters and finished the season with an ERA of .50?
Why is a player paid $50-million over the next five years of a contract because he/she is coming off a season in which the player performed at a fantastic level, while earning 25 per cent of that amount?
It seems to me they are being paid for past performances. I admit, some do go on and continue producing fabulous results, but just as often as not, the player peaked in the final year of the contract and is on a downward journey for the next few years.
Why doesn’t every player have exactly the same contract, every player having the same opportunity to earn based on performance?
Every player earns a base salary paid for the number of games played. The team wins a game and every player gets a certain amount extra. The team wins a playoff game and each player earns more etc.
Amounts are earned for being on the ice when the team scores a goal or kills a penalty. Individual amounts are earned for back checking, an accurate pass, hitting the net with a shot, scoring a goal, getting an assist, blocking a shot or intercepting an errant pass.
Realizing that not every position has an equal opportunity to earn as much money as others, financial rewards could be given for physical conditioning, practice time and other improvements.
It’s complicated but that’s why we have computers.
Superstars would rise to the top and earn big money just they always do, but so could a rookie or a second year player.
Contribute and get paid, win and get paid more.
It motivates players in making sure each move matters.