From The Inbox

Ernie Banks would have loved this proposal

When PGA Tour returns after coronavirus pandemic, opposite-field events could be key for resolving shortened season

Among the suggestions for what the tours should do when and if play resumes (“Too many PGA Tour events, not enough weeks,” March 23), I propose the following: Play opposite-field events.

The PGA Tour can reschedule the postponed tournaments with whatever tournament was scheduled in the week when play resumes. The tournaments could have smaller fields of, say, 80-90. Players could choose where to play. This would at least raise some money for the charities that otherwise would have lost out totally. Some of these opposite-field events could move to the fall schedule, as well.

Let's say the Tour reschedules the Players Championship or the Masters. Whatever tournament was scheduled in that week still could be played. I realize that the fields would not be what organizers might have wanted, but they still would have Tour players. Those tournaments could ask the top Korn Ferry players or top college golfers not getting to play this year to round out their fields. At that point, fans will want to see golf. It would sell.

Let's say that the Tour resumes with what is now the next scheduled tournament, the Charles Schwab Challenge, on May 21-24. The Valspar Championship or some other tournament that has been scrapped could be played. Or, play the Valspar in the fall at the same time as, say, the Military Tribute at the Greenbrier.

There would be a lot of variables, such as course conditions and weather, but these are things that recreational golfers face all the time.

On the LPGA, the women’s tour has open weeks in which postponed tournaments could be inserted, but the LPGA also could schedule some opposite-field events.

Paul Casey recently expressed concern that a condensed schedule in 2020 would lead to many weeks of consecutive tournaments for players. Some of the postponed tournaments might face miserably hot weather if rescheduled in July-September time frame. Maybe it's time to allow carts temporarily. The physical demands of the sport are important, but perhaps push or motorized carts for the caddies would be appropriate. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary changes. Hey, if you’re the Valspar tournament looking for players in September, maybe you invite John Daly and allow a cart.

Many charities are going to need an influx of cash after the threat of COVID-19 has passed. This is a great opportunity for all the tours to stand up and help. Many details have been glossed over with these suggestions, but these are things that can get worked out.

Donald Beck
Phoenix

Play the majors and ditch the playoff events
Regarding the new schedule, this one is an easy one (“Too many PGA Tour events, not enough weeks,” March 23). Play the major championships on the LPGA and PGA Tour. That’s what they did for many years, and it worked very well. The FedEx Cup was created simply to make more money. Let it take a year off.

Keep the remaining tournaments on schedule and let players choose where they want to play. Any tournaments bumped by a major would move to the fall. Forget competing against other sports on TV.

The Olympics will not be played, so that’s one thing off the schedule table.

Easy peasy.

Betsy Larey
St. Paul, Minn.
(Larey is an LPGA teaching professional.)

Jay Monahan hits sour note in bid to be a rock star
A report last week by Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch about PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan taking a “pause” from depositing his $4 million-plus annual salary (that’s about $80,000 a week) during the coronavirus crisis dominated golf news, simply because there is no on-course golf news to write about (“PGA Tour commissioner forgoes salary,” March 23).

Clearly, this is a public-relations move by Monahan, who is a master marketer, especially when it comes to making himself appear to be invincible and “Mr. Nice Guy.” The story doesn’t mention whether Monahan is giving up his unlimited use of the PGA Tour’s credit cards and private jet. Also, he is not giving up his weekly salary to charity, which needs money in this time of crisis much more than do the coffers of the PGA Tour.

Monahan doesn’t have to set up a relief fund to assist part-time workers or companies who make a modest living from PGA Tour events, because their business model always has been based on a house of cards, in which Tour executives and players make millions off the backs of free labor or “volunteers.”

Where am I going with this?

Any day now, expect the well-paid commissioner to announce that the FedEx Cup will be canceled for 2020. If FedEx doesn’t announce that it is pulling out, then the approximately $60 million annual expenditure will be the biggest waste of money since Michael Bloomberg’s failed run for president. The 2020 PGA Tour is a mess, and the future will depend on a lot more than slick public-relations moves.

But, through the veneer of delivering devastating financial news about the PGA Tour, you know that the commish, who wants you to believe he is taking a hit for the team, will turn out looking like a rock star.

Tom Gorman
Boston
(Gorman is the publisher of www.newengland.golf.)

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