While the nasty litigation plays out between the PGA and its emerging rival, LIV Golf, the golfers are huddled in their respective corners, conjuring up new formats and shorter schedules. Is it time to LIV or not to LIV?
Both sides maintain that the growth of the game is their primary focus. But to date, all of the discussion revolves around the players, and predominantly the elite ones.
Golf’s major league is comprised of only 125 players. Now they want to reduce it to 48 or 60 in the LIV Golf fields. And their discussions exclude the most significant player of all: THE FAN.
If there are no eyeballs on the television screens or other devices, the outcome of the litigation will be beside the point.
I believe that the 72-hole, win-or-go-home drama, brings the fans to the screen. Also, the current pacing of the professional golf season, maximizes fan interest for most of the year.
The PGA Tour begins in January during winter’s weariest months and provides the first stirrings of spring. In March, the major season begins with that unofficial major, The Players Championship and the drama of the greatest golfers in the world, terrified of a lob wedge over water.
In April, hardly the cruelest month for golfers, The Masters marks the official start of Spring at Augusta’s all-flowering showcase.
Summer, golf’s high season, provides one major per month until the playoffs in August, a compelling round-robin to crown the season’s top overall performer.
There are some events in-between the above where elite players are absent, but are still intriguing to watch where a no-name gets an opportunity to win for the first time and change his life.
So, wake up pro golfers, wherever you are. I suggest that you start your discussion from the perspective of the fan, rather than how to slice the pie. If you take the fans for granted, there won’t be much of a pie to fight over.
Jack Holden retired from business and returned to writing full time about his lifelong passion for the game of golf. He was introduced to the game as a caddy in Westchester County, NY, where golf clubs and great golf courses proliferate. He provides unique golf course reviews, commentary, opinions, tales and other interesting tid-bits about the game he loves.