The PGA Tour is one of the best-managed companies in the world
They provide wonderful entertainment for millions of people, provide billions of dollars for charity and generate huge profits for its owners. It also has massive land holdings and is extremely solvent.
Over time, it has resolved multiple issues regarding players, ending up with a very fair, equitable system for maintaining membership, fantastic pension funds, medical/dental plans and a balanced program for its sponsors.
The tour really has put together a great formula for success, but could it be better?
I was watching the playoff between Jay Haas and Tom Pernice in last year’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship on the Champions Tour.
Hass, as first to complete the round was entitled to draw from a hat to determine the order of play. Haas won and had the honour.
Where I have trouble with this concept is that Haas not only held the advantage of driving first on the first hole, he maintained that advantage for each of the four holes played.
I think drawing for the honour is a good idea, but I also think the honour should then fall on the odd numbered holes for that player and the even-numbered holes for his competitor.
Before you leap from your easy chair wondering what to do when the playoff involves more than two players, try this theory.
Each player would draw a number that corresponds with his tee position. For example, No. 1 drives first on the first hole and No. 2 drives second etc. On the second extra hole, No. 2 drives first, No. 3 second, etc.
This revolving order would be maintained until only two players remain, at which point, it would alternate between the survivors. As each player was eliminated, the remaining players would move up in the order.
I contend the advantage of driving first is far greater when only two players are facing one other.
My next issue is that it drives me crazy when an announcer says things like “that’s only the second time this week this hole has been birdied,” and then doesn’t tell who else did it.
Not only are they leaving out a big part of the story, someone is missing a great marketing opportunity.
Why not have a skins game at every tournament?
Invite a sponsor to put up $90,000 per event paid out at $5000 per hole with carry-overs (both within the event, but forwarded to the next event) and with the rarity of winners, it is possible a player could win hundreds of thousands of dollars for sinking one well-executed shot.
Any unclaimed money from the last event of the year would go to charity or better yet, donate all of it..
And now my last thought on the PGA Tour.
I also know amateurs pay a lot of money to get paired with professional contestants in the pro-ams. What I’d like to see is local golf clubs within proximity of a tour event raise money to pay the entry fee for juniors to play in the pro-am instead.
What a tremendous opportunity for a young woman or man to be exposed to real golf. What an incentive to develop youthful skills and spend time with the finest players in the world.