When Will They Get It Right?
By Snyper on 2/9/11
Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.
In case you missed it, the PGA Tour provided another awesome tournament this past weekend. Actually, the odds are pretty good that you really did miss it. Why? Because the best part of the tournament happened in the middle of the day on Monday while most of the country was at work!
Time and time again the PGA Tour finds ways to screw up the amazing product that they have. Every year, I get upset about the pathetic Fed Ex Cup “playoff”, but their incredibly poor management on a weekly basis is also unacceptable. This past weekend was a perfect example of them having no clue how to sell their product. Maybe nobody at the PGA has heard of this little thing called the SUPER BOWL, but almost everyone else in the country is pretty familiar with this event. So, why in the world do you have a tournament winding down during the biggest sporting event of the year?
Ok, ok. It’s Sunday and if the greens hadn’t been frozen every day until 10:00, it wouldn’t have been an issue. That’s true, but the greens were frozen and the Tour knew this was going to be an issue as soon as they looked at the weather for the week! Why didn’t they do anything about it!? Instead of being proactive and looking ahead at the best way to get the tournament in so that people could actually watch it, they just sent the players out on the course and told them to play until they couldn’t see anymore. Gee, that took some foresight!
Here’s an idea. Why not make the necessary adjustments to end the tournament later in the day on Monday so that golf fans can actually watch the last 9-holes? There were about 7 guys that had a shot to win the tournament in an awesome arena for golf, and unless you were at the tournament, or you hate football and are out of work, you didn’t get to see any of it! Even if the PGA did exactly what they did on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, why couldn’t they just stop the last 20 players after they completed their front 9 on Sunday? That way, play stops before the Super Bowl begins, players could be paired in the traditional twosomes, and they could be sent off according to their score just like every other week. Instead of having them tee off first thing in the morning, let them sleep in and send your first group out at 11:00 or 12:00. That would have the leaders finishing up at a time that some people may actually be able to watch, especially on the east coast. Instead, an awesome finish that leads to two holes of sudden death golf is totally overshadowed and goes almost completely unnoticed. And, instead of the field coming back out on Monday to finish an equal number of holes, some of them finished on Sunday, some of them came back out for one hole, and the last group had an awkward six holes left to play. How is that equal or fair in any sense of the words? It isn’t and it is just plain stupid. Instead of the PGA officials putting their heads together and creating a schedule that made sense, they decided to just tell the players to keep playing until dark. Then, be ready to play first thing in the morning and if the greens are frozen, well just hang out till we tell you they are ready. That’s genius.
I say shame on the Tour and the tournament executives that allowed this to happen. Look at the weather and connect the dots early in the week. Plan a schedule ahead of time that allows the players to know when they are going to play and for how long. Do your best to provide the fans with an opportunity to watch the end of the tournament and don’t ruin the amazing product that the players lay at your doorstep. The fans and the players deserve a little more effort from you in order to prevent this tournament from ending in the dark on Sunday or while everyone is at work on Monday, not to mention the excitement that was lost in shadows of the Super Bowl.
* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
[ comments ]
Get yourself a PVR, you'll be a lot less tense. :-)
DVR... This isn't the only issue... Look at the Ryder Cup and tournaments taking place every two or so years. There should be seasonal flexibility based on where the event is held and other tournaments at the time. Backing up the Phoenix open one week could yield better attendance and viewership. I would say there was at least 5% of that Superbowl audience that golfs and 10% of them may actually have a decision to make superbowl or the rowdiest tounrey on the west.
They got Farmers right because San Diego is epic almost year round. You really can't move schedules one week to the next if people are buying tickets but just like the NFL modifies schedules every year, the PGA ought to work WITH the Euro tour and get some of these nuances straightend out. A global concensus is necessary when golf is as globally popular as it is. BTW it sickens me that appearance fees rule the day during the west coast swing. I HOPE American players are TAXED accordingly!
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