Should PGA Tour Require Participation?
By kickntrue on 8/5/10
The PGA Tour is tossing around the idea of making its players enter every event once every couple of years. This would bolster Tour stops that year after year get neglected by the big boys. Who's kidding who, though? This is mostly about Tiger and Phil.
The PGA Tour this week took the first step toward requiring high-profile golfers to compete in smaller tournaments.


The proposal, which passed the policy board Tuesday, still must pass through the board again. But first, it goes to the Players Advisory Council.

"Because it's a tournament regulation, it has to be passed twice," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "It was preliminarily approved in concept. Now we go back to the (Players Advisory Council) and work through the details, get some player input and bring it back to the fall meeting."

The initiative could be passed by September, Finchem said.

It would require players to play at least one of the smaller tournaments on Tour each season.
I'm torn on this one (as you shall see in my ramblings to follow). Part of me says that it makes a ton of sense. There are events that will be able to renew major sponsorships just on the fact that Tiger will who up every few years. At the same time, these guys are independent contractors, and last time I checked, an independent contractor can work and not work as he or she chooses. Counterpoint to that though, is that the PGA Tour certainly has no obligation to "hire" an independent contractor they don't wish to use and who doesn't choose to follow their rules, which they have every right to make.

In the end... I guess that's where I come down on this. The PGA Tour can have any rules it wants- and then it's up to the players to see if they want to still play. Of course, if Tiger or Phil ever called their bluff- it could be terrible for the PGA Tour and their PR. Imagine if Tiger decided to just hang up the golf spikes in the USA and just play in majors (which the PGA Tour doesn't run). Tiger and Phil have enough exemptions to last for years of entry into those events. They could also choose to join the European Tour or possibly just play exhibition golf. Heck- you could argue Tiger and Phil working together (man, would that be the day...) could start their own tour in the USA. Actually... THAT would be pretty crazy. Scarily, I think they could do it.

It's the classic case of 80/20. The majority of the players on the PGA Tour already play in almost every event as the grind for their livelihoods. Heck- some of them may not want this from a selfish perspective. The money at the Greater Milwaukee Open doesn't really go down- why would you want to risk your check with Tiger, Phil and company in the event? It's going to be the elite 20% that control the date of this proposal though.

Do the big guys care to join in, for the good of the Tour? I guess we shall see.

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[ comments ]
lindsaya says:
Finchem and co must have too much time on their hands to come up with this nonsense. To require participation would be the beginning of the end for the Tour. Look how many different winners there have been this year - it's already the most competitive Tour out there. This regulation would turn the top players away from the Tour.
EWidner says:
Let things be..if u r good enuff to be at the top then that's what u work and play hard for! If another venue or entity want to run a tour event then they should ante it the same time i think maybe exemptions should be eliminated thereby a player needs to be good enuff every year to play in the top tour tourneys..more competitive?? How good r u really?
mcmmolisani says:
yes they should have to play. ticket prices are the same wether the A or B players are playing
jperez says:
From the point of view of the Tourneys, they ought to have the name players participating. Without the sponors, there IS NO TOUR!!!

On the other hand, aside from the obvious oft-repeated "independent contractor" line, there are other considerations...

At every tournament, the roster is packed top-to-bottom with players who WANT TO BE THERE!!! Since no one is forced to compete, it's a certainty that for whatever reason, these guys WANT to be at that venue. And this means you can be fairly certain that you are going to get the best from each of the competitors. Does anyone really want to see players who don't really want to be at a tournament simply "go through the motions," perhaps not even caring if they make the cut, just to fulfill their obligation to play there every couple of years.

How many of us have been sickend by watching professional ballplayers "dogging" it in a game, loafing after a fly ball that drops, etc. Is THAT what you want in golf, Players who just DON'T CARE???
golfer2003 says:
YES all players should have to play all tourneys at one time or another
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