Every time I watch a major championship, I realize how many first-class players there are playing around the world. I anxiously await the Ryder Cup every two years and the President’s Cup is slowly climbing my ladder of acceptance.
In my opinion, two communications vehicles have provided more beneficial knowledge to golfers than the daily news, those being Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf and the Golf Channel.
In the 1960s, the Shell matches took us all over the world visiting exotic, far-away places where we saw phenomenal golf courses, were introduced to extremely talented golfers and learned geographical secrets from the most hidden corners of the world.
Today, the Golf Channel telecasts the playing of events on the Asian Tour, PGA Tour Canada, the European Tour, the Champions Tour, the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour.
They host travel specials exposing great golf courses around the world. They deliver mind-expanding information regarding famous hotels and famous experiences. These two mediums have contributed more to the enjoyment of golf to more golfers than any other.
We are currently witnessing the “new look” PGA Tour with a playoff season and a $10-million pot of gold up for grabs. Without even taking a breath, we’ll soon be beginning the 2014 season.
I still gravitate more to the PGA Tour players but I truly enjoy watching a star player grinding in a close match against a lesser-known international player. Adding to my enjoyment is learning the lesser-know combatant is a five-time champion on a foreign tour who I don’t really know.
In a recent interview with David Feherty, Raymond Floyd said “Of course I’d go to Texas to play a money match against someone I’ve never heard of”.
On day one, his challenger shot 63 to Raymond’s 64.
On day two, Raymond’s 65 was bettered by his rival’s 64.
On day three, betting his own money, Raymond finally beat some range rat named Lee Trevino, with a 63 against his competitor’s 64. The point is that I love a match play format and I love hearing about an unknown player whipping a really good player.
Recently, we have been reading about the possibility of the PGA Tour buying the European Tour.
Other than such a situation being a monopoly, maybe this is a good thing — a bunch of feeder tours owned by the PGA Tour developing players to an all-star PGA Tour, featuring a series of true world championships of golf.
Can you say Greg Norman?
All of this brings me to the point of my article. I’d love to see a new version of a World Tour that included men and women in a Ryder Cup style competition. It goes like this.
Twenty four cities around the world would participate by fielding a 24-player team consisting of 16 men and eight women.
Players could be drafted in the same way as the NFL, NHL, NBA etc, with a minimum of at least two men and one woman player from the country in which the city is located.
There would be a salary cap, but each victorious match would be worth a set amount. The season would include one game against each of the other teams, with the home course alternating every other year.
All matches would be match play, foursomes on Friday, best ball on Saturday and singles on Sunday, with one point per match and a half point each for ties.
The winning team earns two points or one point each for a tie. At the end of the season, the top 16 teams make the playoffs and are reduced to eight teams, then four, then two and finally, a champion.
Team owners would be huge international companies. TV rights would be enormous and the excitement breathtaking. Here’s how the ledger would look:
Season Salary Cap
$28,800,000 or 24 players at $1,200,000 each.
Each player earns $100,000. per week for a 12 week season.
16 teams x 24 players x $50,000 per player
8 teams x 24 players x $100,000 per player
4 teams x 24 players x $150,000 per player
2 teams x 24 players x $250,000 per player
2 teams x 24 players
Runner-up: $500,000 per player
Champions: $1,000,000 per player
You might wonder about the PGA Tour’s objections?
If the competition was held from October to January most of their players would be available. Furthermore, any city could offer a contract to any player, which might make some very good players choose between the PGA Tour and this new world team tour?
What’s wrong with a little capitalism?