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A puzzling bet for a nonprofit that generates piles of cash

The PGA Tour’s mission statement doesn’t appear to align with the Tour’s all-in bid for gambling, reader contends

In his piece on golf gambling, Gary Van Sickle writes, “The PGA Tour has flipped on gambling. It had long opposed the idea, but officials now see how much revenue could be theirs and are staking their claim” (New year touts golf gambling as almost a sure thing,” Jan. 2).

The following is taken from the Tour’s mission statement on its filed IRS Form 990:

The PGA Tour, Inc.’s principal mission is to promote the sport of professional golf through sanctioning and administering golf tournaments and promoting the common interests of touring golf professionals. This is accomplished by providing competitive earnings opportunities for members of the PGA Tour, Inc., PGA Tour Champions, Tour, PGA Tour Latinoamerica, Mackenzie Tour Canada, and PGA Tour China; protecting the integrity of the game; and helping grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world.

How does generating revenue (vigorish?) from golf gambling fit within that mission statement, and will it affect the Tour’s not-for-profit tax status?

Not-for-profit status for an organization that generated more than $1.4 billion in revenue and had $56 million in revenue over expenses (2017 IRS Form 990) is a stretch to begin with.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Quiet praise for golf
I am not at all happy that CBS declined to bring back Peter Kostis. Gary McCord's shtick grew stale 15 years ago. Kostis provided great analysis of players' swings and putting strokes for many years. I also liked his voice. It wasn't grating, like Dan Hicks’, or monotonous, like Notah Begay’s.

The one thing I will miss about the old analysts is that CBS seems to be going the way of NBC/Golf Channel. I've noticed for many years that NBC analysts have to fill every second of the telecast with useless talk. Jim Mackay talks so fast that it seems as if he gets paid by the word. At least 75 percent of this talk is unnecessary. Also, can I see live golf rather than listening to announcers drone on over canned footage?

I don't like the split screen, either.

That being said, I love the game too much not to watch. I just watch it on mute.

Bill Galinas
Drexel Hill, Pa.

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