It turns out the PGA Tour has enough funds to finance more than the $60-million GLOBAL HOME. Let’s discuss.
“PGL? Never heard of it”
Some pieces of golf news are bigger than others. On Tuesday morning, Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch broke the story that the PGA Tour has created something called the Player Impact Program. The PIP, as we’re going to mockingly call it, is a big pool of cash “designed to compensate players who are judged to drive fan and sponsor engagement.” As Lynch explained, “the Player Impact Program began January 1 to ‘recognize and reward players who positively move the needle.’ At the end of the year, a pool of $40 million will be distributed among 10 players, with the player deemed most valuable receiving $8 million.”
This is clearly a response to the looming threat of the Premier Golf League and its potential to poach big-name pros with Saudi cash. The PIP will basically function as a bribe to keep stars on the PGA Tour.
Frankly, it makes sense. Rumor has it that the PGL will offer very large guaranteed payouts, which could appeal to top players who feel undervalued by a PGA Tour structure that makes a lot of fairly anonymous pros very wealthy.
The PIP will rank players according to several criteria: final FedEx Cup ranking, popularity in Google search, Nielsen Brand Exposure rating (value delivered to sponsors), Q Rating (appeal of the player’s brand), MVP Index rating (value of engagement on social and digital platforms), and Meltwater Mentions (frequency in which they generate coverage).
Got all that?
It will be fascinating to see how the PGA Tour’s rank and file react to this news. Only a select few players will benefit from the PIP. That’s the whole point, obviously, but will it sit well with the average tour pro? What if world No. 109 Rickie Fowler gets a big payday simply because he has more sponsors than Tiger Woods has trophies?
Billy Horschel, for one, doesn’t have any such grievances. “I had no issue with it,” Horschel told Golf Digest. “When you look at it, there’s maybe 10 to 30 guys that really push the Tour and bring in the money, have a transcendent personality, get a lot of attention. They’re the reason we play for as much as we do. We don’t reward mediocrity.” A fair point from the Town Crier!
But enough about the players. For fans, the PIP could actually be beneficial. Players are now materially incentivized to show some personality and interact with those who cheer them on. No doubt the PIP formula will be altered more than once, but hey, some good could come of this.
On the other hand, it may go very, very poorly, and that would be fun, too.
The PGA Tour ditches individual stroke play this week for the team format of the Zurich Classic in New Orleans. Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, and Tony Finau headline the field. Tee Times
Back on the mainland, the LPGA Tour heads to the fantastic Wilshire Country Club for the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. The tournament begins Wednesday morning. Tee Times
Want to play baseball but make it golf? That’s what the Korn Ferry Tour is up to this week as it heads to the Texas Rangers Golf Club for the Veritex Bank Championship. (All seriousness, Texas Rangers is a public course built two years ago by Colligan Golf Design. Could be cool.) Tee Times
After a week of frigid temperatures at the Austria Golf Open, European Tour players are rewarded with a week on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. The Gran Canaria Lopesan Open begins on Thursday. Tee Times.
The PGA Tour sent a memo to its members announcing that players fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be exempt from testing protocols at events, and that on-site testing will end in July. Players who do not get the vaccine will have to provide their own negative test results ahead of each event. That’s definitely one way to encourage the guys to get vaccinated. Full Story from Rex Hoggard
Limited numbers of fans will be allowed at both the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines and the U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic Club. California residents and out-of-state residents must provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 in order to be on site. Press Release
Bryson DeChambeau put out another bizarre YouTube video cataloging his workout routine. Other players better look alive because Bryson is AFTER that Player Impact Program cash.
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