Don’t lose any shut eye being concerned about the financial state of the PGA Tour. As you can read in Matthew Futterman’s article in the Wall Street Journal the beds of Tim Finchem, the PGA Tour, and the players fortunate enough to stay in the top 125 and cash in on the weekly spoils are all amply feathered with Jacksons as the tour has successfully navigated itself through the first Post-Tiger period.
After Tiger’s run in with the hydrant and the resultant free fall from grace because of personal indiscretions exposed, the PGA brass was very worried that the golden calf that his fame had help create was going to be seriously devalued without his persona dominating our Sunday television screens.
Apparently the sport had more self-sustaining momentum than they thought and with a fresh crop of young and talented players from the global golf pool stepping into the void the product proved as attractive as ever to the two parties that matter the most-the TV broadcasters and the corporate sponsors.
Futterman points out that the new nine-year TV contract inked in 2011 with NBC and CBS represented an average of about $800 million a year-a 33% increase over the expiring agreement. The tour revenues for last year rose over $90 million (close to 10%) in a year when most businesses were just trying to figure how to eke out a low single digit increase in this sputtering economy.
Every one of the 42 PGA Tour events has a title sponsor kicking in anywhere from $6 to $12 million for the event. Uniquely these sponsors commit to buying around 75% of the ads during the broadcasts, this is a huge hedge for the television broadcasters who have put so much on the table. Viewership has continued to grow robustly justifying their outlays.
As Futterman says, the PGA Tour has succeeded in redefining the story of the tour. It is now way more than one dominating force in a red shirt on Sunday-it includes Bubba Golf and Ricky Golf and Rory Golf and so much more. The pot of gold is there for the players and more of the great athletes of the next generation will be proudly wearing soft spikes and bright colored shirts (with white pants of course) trying to dip their hands in that stash.
Against all the odds the PGA Tour has managed to redefine it’s attraction and connect with more folks than ever. Just listen to that resonating ka-ching….it is louder than ever.
(Click to read Matt Futterman’s WSJ article on the PGA Tour)
Wall Street Journal
All inebriated golfers have their dream foursome, the three guys with whom they want to play their fantasy round. In my case the number has climbed to double digits so it is kind of my moegolf dream outing.
With that attitude what a great two-man pard he would be ! (photo: brandtsnedeker.com)
Brandt Snedeker is a the top end of the ‘Please Save The Date’ list because he has three of the personal characteristics to pass my dream outing litmus test. He smiles all the time, has a humble respect for the game, and seems like a thoughtful guy with whom I would enjoy spending an afternoon playing golf and sharing a side of fries.
As you can read in John Garrity’s Golf.com article on “Sneed-a-ker” this is a guy who knows where he came from (in fact he still lives there), plays within his abilities, enjoys the game, and has a competitive fire for taking your money. He is very grounded in his values and the way he carries himself on and off the course. A bit of prankster lurks behind that innocent “Opie” moniker, but he certainly he qualifies as a guy you would want your kids to look up to and root for.
Sneds has been a moegolf post focus on more than one occasion.
(Click to read moegolf post about his early years)
(Click to read moegolf post about this season’s early triumphs)
No question he has the attention and respect of his peers with a too die for putting stroke and excellent course management skills. His five professional win venues include Harbour Town, Torrey Pines, East Lake, and Pebble Beach-any of which will do just fine for my dream outing.
Given the way Sneds has played so far this year-win at Pebble, two seconds, and a third, he has to be in that upper tranche of favorites at Augusta next week.
(Click to read John Garrity’s wonderful article about Brandt Snedeker)
This will make all the traditionalists cringe but with this prototype Hovercraft Golf Cart I have to hand it to Bubba he is thinking outside of the box. Or is it that he is just out of his mind.
The disclaimer form you are going to have to sign to drive this thing will be seven pages long. Have to think he has gotten the attention of Club Car and other cart makers at this point.
Some Arab Sheik will be driving one of these things on his personal links in the very near future.
“No offense, Arnold, but I think she’s going to sell more tea than you.”
Dow Finsterwald, 1958 PGA Champ, commenting when he heard SI Swimsuit model Kate Upton might be in a commercial with Arnold Palmer for his famous 1/2 lemonade-1/2 iced tea drink.
Paula and friend doing a Dufner (credit: @THEPCREAMER)
Apparently it is getting to everyone since Jason Dufner ignited the “Dufnering” craze with a Kodak moment during a charity appearance in a Dallas elementary school. Tour players across the globe have taken on the challenge to do a Dufner.
(Click to read the Yahoo Sports report on Dufnering)
With Tiger back at number one in the world after his victory at Arnie’s Barbeque this past weekend there may not be much time for him to savor the spoils. As you can read in Jason Sobel’s Golf Channel piece, Rory can steal back the number one ranking from Mr. Redshirt with a win at the Shell Houston Open this weekend.
Not everyone thought this made high ethical marks (Picture: Nike Facebook)
The folks at Nike are in full embrace of ‘Tiger’s Return’ with their somewhat controversial “Winning Takes Care Of Everything” Facebook campaign launched right after the final putt dropped in the Monday finish at Bay Hill.
(Click to read the CNN.com piece on the Nike Facebook campaign controversy)
Having their number one and two vieing weekly for the top spot in the World Golf Rankings has to have Nike bigwigs doing cartwheels across the company conference table. This is the Nike “No Cup Is Safe” ad becoming reality right before our eyes.
As Sobel says, Tiger’s fraternity brother advice for Rory this week involving the relocation of a particular digit pretty much says “Rory, your serve”. I feel the little white dot moving across the old Atari screen right now.
And this entertainment seemed so high tech in the day!!
There could be real electronic fireworks if Rory can step up and compete with Tiger head-to-head when he is playing at the top of his game. In the past when Tiger has been number one it has pretty much been Game-Set-Match no matter how credentialed the challengers have been.
Should be interesting to see who is waving a finger come Sunday afternoon. Hopefully they have some hand sanitizer in the scorer’s hut.
(Click here to read Jason Sobel’s GC article “McIlroy Can Reclaim #1”)
Kootch and Rose…….sounds like a new brand of a southern comfort whiskey. Instead both, in their young thirties entering the prime of their golfing careers, are rising stars in the game steadily building resumes that have put them solidly in the top ten of the World Golf Rankings.
The two burst on the golf radar screen at the same time in 1998 as pedigree Amateurs elbowing their way into the major Championships that year. They had competed against each other at the Walker Cup at Quaker Ridge the previous year and became friends when they played a practice round together at Loch Lomand the week before the 1998 Open Championship. Kootch introduced his 20 year-old telegenic smile to our TV screens with flash performances in The Masters (T21) and U.S. Open (T14) that year. Rose stunned the British golf fans as an 18 year-old holing out a dramatic wedge shot from the rough on the last hole to tie for fourth at Royal Birkdale.
But then the waiting began. As is common with young players both of them hit the pot hole laden developmental road soon after they turned pro. Kucher won the Honda Classic in 2002 but did not hoist a trophy in the winner’s circle again until Turning Stone in 2009. Justin Rose suffered the indignity of missing the cut in his first 21 pro events but broke through to win The Dunhill in 2002 and three more times on the European Tour before he won The Memorial on the PGA Tour at Jack’s Place in 2010.
The breakout year for both of them was 2010-Kootch won the Fed Ex Barclays in 2010, The Players in 2011, and finished top ten in the World Gold Championships 7 times since then including his win at the Accenture Match Play this year over Hunter Mahan.
In the majors the last three years he has been top ten 4 times with a T3 at The Masters last year. For Rose it was the Fed Ex BMW in 2011 and 4 top tens in WGC events including the Cadillac Championship at Doral in 2011. In 2012 he finished tied for eighth at The Masters and third at the PGA.
Between them they have 13 PGA and European Tour wins, 2 FedEx Cup event victories, 2 WGC wins, 5 Ryder and President Cup appearances, 5 World Cup appearances, and a Players Championship.
So what is missing……a Major. The two are at the top of that infamous list of the best players in the world yet to win a Major. But I sense the wait could be over for them over the next 24 months. Both have been in top form so far this year and I would not be surprised to see Bubba slipping that Green Jacket over the shoulders of one of the distillery brothers this April.
Golfers who carry ball retrievers are gatherers, not hunters. They’ve given up the chase. They’ve climbed as far up the hill as they can climb, and now the paths lead only down. They’ve stopped tinkering with their grip. They don’t practice in the sand. Their dreams are no longer of conquest, but only of salvage.
My Usual Game
The object of golf architecture is to give an intelligent purpose to the striking of a golf ball.
As quoted by Geoff Shackelford in “Natural Wonder”
Golf World March 2013
34 year-old Kevin Streelman starring in those Wilson Staff commercials as the super confident pro juxtaposed to the high bravado slacker seemed like a stretch to me. Maybe those producers knew something the rest of us had missed about a guy who had yet to win on the PGA Tour. Winning the Tampa Bay Championship from behind Streelman displayed unexpected moxy of someone who had been there and done that.
Boo Weekly came from nowhere shooting a sizzling 63 in the final round to set the clubhouse lead at 8-under. But he would have three hours to eat pizza and sip hard lemonade and see if anyone could match his number and extend his day. The pursuers included Streelman, Justin Leonard, Jim Furyk, and defending champ Luke Donald. Most of them wilted under the pressure struggling to hit fairways and greens on the tight tree -ined back nine of the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook.
Streelman donned his red cape on the 13th tee and hit a baby fade boldly into a phone booth location between water, bunker, and high rough on the par 3 to set up an unlikely 6-foot birdie putt and grab the outright lead at 9-under. A couple of routine pars on the next two brought him to the fabled snake pit, the last three holes on the Copperhead Course, with the task of making pars to protect a slender one shot lead.
On sixteen he put the thrill back into a three-footer slipping a putt into the right side pocket to save a par. At the long par three seventeenth he put that same aggressive baby fade on his tee ball covering the flag line all the way leaving him a 20-foot birdie putt right up the gut that he buried for another unlikely birdie and a sweet two-shot lead at 10-under going to eighteen.
It was evident that close call misses pursuing in previous events had taught Streelman that playing conservative with the lead is a formula for disappointment on the tour. He played full bore. flag hunting all the way in to close out his first win in style.
We should not be all that surprised at this because Streelman has been on an uphill trajectory for years. After winning a million bucks in the year-long Kodak Challenge in 2009, he had 11 top-10 finishes on the tour in 2010 and 2011 and another 3 in 2012 to compile over $6 million in career winnings.
Guess it is time for a Streelman image rethink for the rest of us. At least this day that “Seriously” line in the Staff commercial seems to fit like a glove.