New association could benefit PGA Championship, Ryder Cup and women's golf
While we’re talking about mergers in the professional-golf arena, how about the PGA of America merging with the LPGA and calling the LPGA the Women’s Tournament Players Division? (“A merger plan with a 1-ina million shot,” Dec. 1).
It would turn the clock back 50 years, to when the Tour as we know it now broke away from the PGA to create its own Tour. So, there’s a precedent for it, but in reverse.
Only those who are closely associated with the LPGA tour will call it successful. Maybe viewership and prize money are up from 2018, but that doesn’t make it good; it only makes it marginally better. If the LPGA would join forces with the PGA of America, the new association would be able to leverage the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup for better TV deals and bigger-dollar sponsors. That could mean bigger purses, and maybe that would entice some of our best college players to give it a try.
The PGA of America’s membership is made up primarily of club professionals. More courses are closing than are being built; that means fewer golf professionals. The discount houses have taken over the retail end; that means less revenue for pro shops and fewer dollars to hire and adequately pay professional staff. Even club professionals with jobs are seeing the handwriting on the wall and are getting out of the business.
The PGA Tour has all of the money, and the Tour is not about to share it. The Tour probably is waiting for the PGA to continue its downward slide so that the Tour can make an offer for the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup that the PGA couldn’t refuse.
So, there are two groups: one that is trending downward and one that is treading water. It’s a likely match for joint survival. And it would do another thing. It would show the PGA of America as a progressive association that recognizes the role of women in the game.
We’re OK, but Mickelson might not be
“[Phil] Mickelson took to social media to defend his decision to play [the 2020 Saudi International], saying: ‘I understand those who are upset or disappointed. You'll be OK. I'm excited to experience this for the first time’ ” (“In other golf news,” Dec. 2).
You'll be OK? In what way is this a defense of anything? We're not at risk from his decision to go for the money; he is at risk of damaging his integrity.
The Saudis believe that money can excuse anything, and apparently so does Mickelson.
Thanks for the memories, Phil
I have read with interest the last few days about those criticizing Phil Mickelson for his abandoning the Phoenix Open to play in Saudi Arabia (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 3).
I live in Phoenix and would like to give a strong “thank you” to Mickelson for supporting our little golf event for as long as he has. In Phoenix, we would like for Randy Johnson to still be pitching for us or Shane Doan still leading our hockey team. Priorities change; everyone moves on.
I don’t know anyone here who isn’t going to the tournament because Mickelson won’t be showing up. The game will go on, and the charities will be totally unaffected. For us in Phoenix, that is all that matters.
A non-PC solution for the P.C.
I have the solution to the President Cup’s problems: Do away with it. It is boring and not a compelling watch (“Presidents Cup ‘rivalry’ could use some rivals,” Dec. 3).
I doubt that the players really care. They have to talk positively about being on the team, for politically-correct reasons.
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