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iacas

Is the PGA Tour Good for Golf?

The PGA Tour's Role in Golf  

47 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the PGA Tour good for golf?

    • Yes, absolutely.
    • No, not really.
    • Uhm, I'd kinda always thought yes, but now I'm choosing this option in case I want to change my vote to "no" in the future…


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57 minutes ago, iacas said:

No.

And were it not Jack's place, it'd be rated lower than it is.

I guess they all seem awesome to me compared to the goat tracks that I play. 😕

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57 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Congressional CC is a pretty well-respected courses, I don't have enough expertise to call it "great", but maybe it is.  Its certainly good enough to have hosted the US Open a few times.  For a long time, the Kemper Open was played at Congressional every summer.  Then the tournament was moved to newly built TPC Avenel, which was clearly NOT anywhere near a great course.  But it was a good move for the PGA Tour, they no longer had to pay Congressional for the use of their facilities.

Many Sandtrappers have played a lot better courses than I have. So I have nothing to compare to. The only a Tour course I have played is Royal Ka’anapali on Maui and that’s an LPGA course. I’ve played a few really nice private and public courses, but nothing on the PGA Tour. I played Salem CC last fall and the Champions Tour was there. That course was good, but there were still some odd holes.

I just think any course has something about it that someone won’t like. So I guess I just want to know what they mean by ‘great’.

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The PGA Tour has to choose courses that are walk-able, accessible, has lots of public facilities nearby, and can fit gallery.  There may be a lot of great courses that simply can't host any sort of big event.  I'm sure we all think about a course or several where we'd like to see the pros try an event at.  

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29 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Many Sandtrappers have played a lot better courses than I have. So I have nothing to compare to. The only a Tour course I have played is Royal Ka’anapali on Maui and that’s an LPGA course. I’ve played a few really nice private and public courses, but nothing on the PGA Tour. I played Salem CC last fall and the Champions Tour was there. That course was good, but there were still some odd holes.

I just think any course has something about it that someone won’t like. So I guess I just want to know what they mean by ‘great’.

I agree, great is a qualitative judgement, and I don't claim to have the knowledge to make too many judgments.  I tend to look at course that have stood the test of time, and that have hosted a number of major championships.  That's why I used Congressional as an example, a great (or close to great) course that was left behind when a PGA Tour event was moved to a nearby TPC course.  As a generalization, I'd say that most (maybe all) TPC courses are far from great. And TPC courses seem to make up a large percentage of the course the PGA Tour goes to.   

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I play golf nearly weekly with someone in the business who opines, and has great influence over, what is considered a "great" course.  As in what gets put out in many publications as Top 10, Top 50, etc.  Obvious and recurring examples would be the Bandon courses, and in my home state (lately) the Streamsong ones.  

They are great IMO.  But also on that list are a lot that strike me as trying way to hard.  I include TPC at Sawgrass in that category.  Nothing special about it, I find it over the top and gimmicky.  

I do agree with iacas that most PGA Tour events are on just decent tracks.  Some better, some worse.  But man, these days - even just decent tracks are so much better than what they/we had 50 years ago. 

I doubt the PGL would have access to "better" courses than those that the PGA Tour could... if it were sufficiently motivated.  And maybe this recurring them that seems to come up of a premier world tour is the motivation that the PGA Tour needs.

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On 2/27/2020 at 9:20 AM, CarlSpackler said:

I guess they all seem awesome to me compared to the goat tracks that I play. 😕

I can understand that. I once read a written critique of Firestone CC by some brain dead doofus, saying that it wasn't much of a course because the holes only "go back and forth"! Later, I read a more reasoned critique saying that if you teed off at the first into the wind, the course would play short. If you teed off with the wind, the course would play long! This was part of the consideration for the design. Not to mention the big ridge that bisects the course. 

I also remember an essay by David Feherty when he was an on course commentator with CBS. In it he griped about "having to hike up and down that God damned ridge between 17 and 18 a half dozen times for the playoff!" 

On 2/24/2020 at 12:16 PM, Wally Fairway said:

I find this a fascinating topic, actually a small subset of the larger question would sports be better without professional leagues?

It actually harkens back to a time before professional sports leagues dominated the landscape, and were overtake with sponsorships, billion dollar arenas, and multi-billion dollar broadcast rights.

Are we better off with the sports brands - Nike, Adidas, Acushnet, etc. Sure it has made a few billionaires (owners) and the players have an opportunity to become millionaires or mega-millioinairs (Tiger, Lebron, etc). But is this like the Romans going to the Colosseum, and is it sustainable?

Sports was around for quite a while before it became a money making franchise; I certainly don't have the answers.
But I feel certain that if it were not for the PGA Tour, and the broadcast TV showing of events that there would be far fewer courses, that technology would lag where it is today, both in equipment and course maintenance. It would be a more exclusive sport, with elitism at the country club core. 

But to address the question posed in the poll - I think it depends on how you define "good for golf"

Bread and circuses, guy! The Roman Empire thought it more important to keep the games at the Colosseum going than feed the populace, the appetite for sport, particularly blood sport, was so high. Our stuff today is pretty tame in comparison. 

A long time ago I read an article that I believe was penned by a sociologist. In it he equated "play" with "intelligence". Humans, kittens, puppies and dogs, monkeys and apes, and dolphins all engage in play! Worms and slugs do not. Reptiles and Amphibians do not. Invertebrates do not. 

As a result of our being one of the most, if not the most, intelligent species on the planet, we have invented games that are VERY difficult to play! So much so, that people will actually pay money to come out and watch other people who can play those games very well! 

Pro sports did not appear from planning, it happened organically. It came about through fan interest! 

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I haven't voted yet.  I'm still kicking it around.

If I look at a few other sports, some are spectator, some participatory, and a few are both.

I would think American football is primarily a spectator sport in that few people go out on the weekends and play in leagues.  There is also a noticeable absence of equipment commercials during broadcasts... lol.

Cycling is on the other spectrum.  While a major event like the Tour de France will attract many local spectators, it not a good spectator sport from a broadcast perspective.  But that probably has little impact on how many go out an buy a bike and hit their local MUP.

Soccer is one of those unique sports that fits both a spectator and participatory sport.

Golf is real tricky.  Golf really isn't a great spectator sport for most people, especially those who don't play golf, and they won't sit and watch; dare I say boring.  At the same time golf, and tennis for that matter, are not easy sports to play.  Golf is hard.  Most anyone can ride a bike, or kick a soccer ball around.  No one has to take lessons.  And as a kid, I could always go out and shoot hoops, or get a bat and ball and some friends and play.

I'm pondering the original question in the context of the word "good".  To me a lot comes down to what will improve, grow, the sport of golf over the next 25-50 years and attract future generations to experience the frustration of hitting that white ball all over creation for half a day.  Sometimes I think that the sport is primarily passed down from generation to generation and it spread to friends from there.  With the exception of Tiger, I'm not sure TV has a lot to do with it.  Since most people know the PGA Tour from TV, is it really growing anything just maintaining the interest of those who are already hooked on golf?

John

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That depends on who's playing. Tiger brought a lot of new viewers to the tube. And still does. Now, the Tour is just waiting for the next Tiger! 

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Giving this more thought, I'll say the Tour has been good for golf.

But currently that is in question.  The prime outlet and connection they have to the fans is via television.  And that product is currently in sad shape; greed for $$ has eclipsed everything else in their product for the fans.

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