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PGA Tour Changes (2022 Onward)


iacas
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Under the new system, players outside the top 70 will compete in a series of domestic Tour events during the fall.

As far as I can tell, the bullet points are:

  • 70 fully exempt players year to year (plus the two-year tournament win exemption?)
  • 70 for the first playoff event, 50 to the second, 30 to the third. The 70 are fully exempt next year.
  • The 50 who make it to the BMW qualify for a three-event series in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East with purses of at least $20M.
  • Riviera, Bay Hill, Memorial, WGC Match Play, and Tournament of Champions will be re-categorized with boosted purses ($15M for the TOC, $20M for the others, $25M for the Players Championship).
  • Calendar year "season" starting in 2024.
  • The players outside the top 70 can play in the fall series to earn better status for the following season.

I like the changes. I think they'll be good. The top players will play together more often (the five higher paying events, the Players, and the four majors).

What do you think?

P.S. This is about the PGA Tour. For LIV Tour discussion… that's here:

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I have lots of questions, but I like this more than my initial thoughts to the news yesterday.  It sounds like there are only 3 new small field no cut events, and they are not part of the normal season.

I'm intrigued by what the fall will look like for the guys at 71+, how many are jockeying for position vs. Fighting to simply keep their card, hiw the Korn Ferry Tour finals plays into it.

But nothing jumps out immediately as a negative, I'm interested for more details 

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I like it.  I still remember how weird the initial playoffs were when more players qualified than would be exempt the next year (unless they went back to Q-school).   I also like cutting down the number of fully qualified at the end of the year, and I wonder how they got that past the membership vote, but good for them.

Boosted purses, wow.  When I first started watching golf, which wasn't that long ago, there were plenty of non-alternate-field events where the winner didn't even get $1M (I think it's still winner gets 18% of a purse).  And I think there was also one event where players still had to pay for range balls.  Now there's this. 

I will watch eagerly in 2024.  I do want to watch more golf.

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I don't know what they're saying, because the way I see it:

  • The fall will have much less competition from the top 70 who are fully exempt for the next year. This will be their "off season" (or they'll play the three events overseas).
  • If fields are 144 or so in the fall events, and the top 70 PGA Tour players aren't playing in them often… then the KFT guys can play in them and earn status.

No?

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27 minutes ago, iacas said:

2023!

Even better.  I saw the note about 2024 calendar and thought it was delayed. 

10 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't know what they're saying, because the way I see it:

  • The fall will have much less competition from the top 70 who are fully exempt for the next year. This will be their "off season" (or they'll play the three events overseas).
  • If fields are 144 or so in the fall events, and the top 70 PGA Tour players aren't playing in them often… then the KFT guys can play in them and earn status.

No?

And also there are lots of events on the calendar that aren't Riviera, ToC, etc.  I assume those will still pay out FedEx Cup points?  

Unless the boosted purse events are paying out disproportionate FEC points too, top players will still want to appear at some of these, but so will plenty of not-at-the-top guys.    Doubly so if winning at Torrey Pines or Colonial or the like still provides a Masters invite.

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16 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't know what they're saying, because the way I see it:

  • The fall will have much less competition from the top 70 who are fully exempt for the next year. This will be their "off season" (or they'll play the three events overseas).
  • If fields are 144 or so in the fall events, and the top 70 PGA Tour players aren't playing in them often… then the KFT guys can play in them and earn status.

No?

I can see what he is saying, the fall is not part of the season.  The fall for guys at 71+, and presumably Korn Ferry Tour Finals, will be some series of events to retain tour status for the next season, or to improve priority ranking.  The season itself won't start until January with ToC, so everything happening in the fall won't contribute toward FedEx points.

Once the season starts, there are fewer events, and a stronger need to finish higher since only 70 is safe, not 125.  This would lead to top guys playing in more events/less events skipped, and therefore fewer opportunities for guys lower on the priority rankings to get starts and fill fields, which currently includes Korn Ferry Tour Finals graduates

A lot is going to depend on how those fall events factor into priority rankings....that will basically determine opportunity to even reach the Top 70 the next season

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9 minutes ago, Shindig said:

And also there are lots of events on the calendar that aren't Riviera, ToC, etc.  I assume those will still pay out FedEx Cup points?

Of course.

9 minutes ago, Shindig said:

Unless the boosted purse events are paying out disproportionate FEC points too, top players will still want to appear at some of these, but so will plenty of not-at-the-top guys.    Doubly so if winning at Torrey Pines or Colonial or the like still provides a Masters invite.

Not much will change. The 70 get the exempt status, though, and into the higher paying events.

4 minutes ago, Friz said:

I can see what he is saying, the fall is not part of the season. The fall for guys at 71+, and presumably Korn Ferry Tour Finals, will be some series of events to retain tour status for the next season, or to improve priority ranking. The season itself won't start until January with ToC, so everything happening in the fall won't contribute toward FedEx points.

I'm not sure what point you're making. This could actually be better for the KFT guys.

  • They'll have fewer of the top guys playing in the fall series events.
  • The fall series will basically be like an extended KFT "playoffs" or "finals" or whatever it is called now.

Of course they don't get FedEx points. The FedEx season is done in August.

4 minutes ago, Friz said:

Once the season starts, there are fewer events, and a stronger need to finish higher since only 70 is safe, not 125.  This would lead to top guys playing in more events/less events skipped, and therefore fewer opportunities for guys lower on the priority rankings to get starts and fill fields, which currently includes Korn Ferry Tour Finals graduates.

I don't think so.

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

I'm not sure what point you're making. This could actually be better for the KFT guys.

  • They'll have fewer of the top guys playing in the fall series events.
  • The fall series will basically be like an extended KFT "playoffs" or "finals" or whatever it is called now.

 

Maybe?  But a lot depends on how the fall is structured, and how priority rankings are handled as a result....a lot of the information not yet released.  Is the Korn Ferry Tour Finals merged with the guys at 71+?  What is the cutoff for how far beyond 71 we go?  How many Tour Cards are up for grabs, and where will those that get them fall into the priority rankings?  Is the guy that finished 71st on the PGA Tour at any sort of advantage in the fall compared to the guy that was 150th?  Or the guy that was 45th in Korn Ferry, or is everyone starting the fall series on level footing?  Does the Korn Ferry still plan to give the top 25 in season an automatic promotion, and where do they fall into new priority rankings?

My answer would depend a lot on these unknowns.  Maybe the Korn Ferry guys are simply getting greater opportunity to play their way in and prove themselves....equal footing and more spots up for grabs.  But how they structure the fall will have a huge impact, and I'm curious at least to see it.

Once they're into the season in January, I'm just seeing fewer events means fewer opportunities for the guys lower in the priority rankings.  When it comes to guys deciding whether to play in an event or take a week off, there will be more to consider.  Someone sitting at FedEx rank 50-70 in June today, is feeling pretty comfortable when they just need to stay in top 125 to keep their card and can afford a few weeks off.  Under the new system, rank 50 may mean play every single week to try to ensure you're in the top 70 in the end....therefore taking a tournament spot away from someone else lower in the rankings who just isn't getting as many opportunities to get into tournaments.  Maybe we don't see as much of that.....but seems like it could be a bit of a factor

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4 minutes ago, Friz said:

Maybe?  But a lot depends on how the fall is structured, and how priority rankings are handled as a result....a lot of the information not yet released.

I don't think so.

Previously, 125 guys locked up their spots, and even those making it through the KFT finals were lower on the priority list.

Now (in the near future), 70 or so guys will lock up their status (plus maybe some winners from the prior year who didn't finish top 70 the next year?), so the KFT guys will, it seems, have more places to compete. And on more level footing, too, as they'll mostly be playing against guys 71-125, with fewer of the top guys playing.

Compared to 125 guys having locked up their cards before… I'm not sure how this can be worse for the KFT level guys. I see this as likely leading to faster movement, faster demotions and promotions.

4 minutes ago, Friz said:

How many Tour Cards are up for grabs, and where will those that get them fall into the priority rankings?

Fields are still going to be 144 or 156 players. They will come from somewhere.

4 minutes ago, Friz said:

Once they're into the season in January, I'm just seeing fewer events means fewer opportunities for the guys lower in the priority rankings.

Where have you seen "fewer events"?

4 minutes ago, Friz said:

Someone sitting at FedEx rank 50-70 in June today, is feeling pretty comfortable when they just need to stay in top 125 to keep their card and can afford a few weeks off.  Under the new system, rank 50 may mean play every single week to try to ensure you're in the top 70 in the end....therefore taking a tournament spot away from someone else lower in the rankings who just isn't getting as many opportunities to get into tournaments.

That's not good logic there. Lots of guesswork, too. I'm not worried about a top 70 player "taking a spot away" from a guy who is barely able to make it into fields.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't think so.

Previously, 125 guys locked up their spots, and even those making it through the KFT finals were lower on the priority list.

Now (in the near future), 70 or so guys will lock up their status (plus maybe some winners from the prior year who didn't finish top 70 the next year?), so the KFT guys will, it seems, have more places to compete. And on more level footing, too, as they'll mostly be playing against guys 71-125, with fewer of the top guys playing.

Compared to 125 guys having locked up their cards before… I'm not sure how this can be worse for the KFT level guys. I see this as likely leading to faster movement, faster demotions and promotions.

I do agree with this under an assumed format that hasn't been confirmed yet.  More spots up for grabs is a good thing for those guys.  I just wonder how many of the PGA Tour guys at 71+ are included....do they cut off at 125?  150?  Still all the way up to 200?  Previously guys from 126 all the way back to FedEx rank 200 could retain their card this way, so who knows how many PGA guys they'll be competing with, but I do agree more spots is definitely a good thing, regardless how many are fighting for them.  My other question is simply whether its a hard cut between 70 and 71, or is there more of a soft cut where some of the PGA Tour guys who were closer to the 70 cutoff may get a little boost to help retain their card?  Just something I could see happening....but maybe irrelevant with more cards up for grabs.

12 minutes ago, iacas said:

Where have you seen "fewer events"?

Season used to be September to August, now its January to August.  Fewer events where FedEx points are up for grabs.

 

13 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's not good logic there. Lots of guesswork, too. I'm not worried about a top 70 player "taking a spot away" from a guy who is barely able to make it into fields.

That was the original question though, the guy barely able to make it into fields in today's PGA Tour is the recent Korn Ferry Tour Graduate who is still fairly low in the priority rankings.  So the question of where is the access for those guys could be valid when you have guys under the current system that would have been comfortable at 40-80 now playing events they otherwise would not have because of how valuable that top 70 spot and top 50 spot now is.  There will certainly be cases of that, and every time it happens, guys from the back end of the priority rankings are going to be left out of tournaments and lose that access.  Today, that would be those Korn Ferry guys.  But maybe all of that is sorted in the fall, its just not clear yet, so I understand the question

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2 minutes ago, Friz said:

Season used to be September to August, now its January to August.  Fewer events where FedEx points are up for grabs.

That's irrelevant.

"Fewer events" matters for money, and there's no indication there will be "fewer events."

Fewer events offering FEC points is, again, good for the players 71+ and the KFT guys. Those top 70 guys won't be playing in the fall because they're afraid of starting in January too far behind.

2 minutes ago, Friz said:

So the question of where is the access for those guys could be valid when you have guys under the current system that would have been comfortable at 40-80 now playing events they otherwise would not have because of how valuable that top 70 spot and top 50 spot now is.

I don't think what you think will happen is going to happen. And it would be more than made up for by the ≤70 guys not playing in the fall.

Plus, play better. You'll have had like six months to make yourself a top 70 guy. Who cares if you're #155 by June? You're not playing all that well.

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40 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's irrelevant.

"Fewer events" matters for money, and there's no indication there will be "fewer events."

Fewer events offering FEC points is, again, good for the players 71+ and the KFT guys. Those top 70 guys won't be playing in the fall because they're afraid of starting in January too far behind.

IF the fall series sorts the priority rankings properly to take care of the rank and file guys and the Korn Ferry then maybe all of this is a moot point.  I just don't have any info on the fall series, so my inclination is to assume nothing and ask questions and get clarification.  I know thats not out there yet, so its likely what I'll continue to do....but I do agree there is an opportunity for the fall series to satisfactorily address this.

The original question was about ACCESS though.  And I fully expect access to events offering FEC points to be reduced compared to what it is today.  Fewer events in the season will absolutely reduce access.  If average Joe Golfer was playing 20/40 events on today's schedule, and is playing 20/30 events on the new schedule, thats 10 fewer events for 1 guy to get into, or 1 fewer event for 10 guys.  Expand that across the entire tour, thats a lot less access to FedEx Cup points.  And the guys losing that access are again, the lower priority ranking guys.  And again, I will fully acknowledge this could be addressed in the fall once I see the format, but until then just comparing against today's priority rankings, thats Korn Ferry Tour guys losing access.

40 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't think what you think will happen is going to happen. And it would be more than made up for by the ≤70 guys not playing in the fall.

Plus, play better. You'll have had like six months to make yourself a top 70 guy. Who cares if you're #155 by June? You're not playing all that well.

I'd absolutely wager there will be guys playing events in 2024 that they wouldn't have played in the same situation today.  Purely how financially lucrative that Top 50 spot is, and the safety of that Top 70 spot, I would be shocked if guys around those spots in the rankings are sitting out many events.  And every time they do play, it would lead back to access to tournaments for lower priority guys.  Is the guy at 155 in June at 155 because he had access to a bunch of events and played poorly?  Or is he there because he didn't have the same access to events and didn't have the opportunity to claim as many points?  Down in that range I'd be willing to wager there will be some of both.

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CROMWELL, Conn. – The PGA TOUR will return to a calendar-year schedule in 2024, one of a series of changes...

This is directly from the PGA Tour website and provides a little more clarity - The 70 players who qualify for the first Playoffs event will be fully exempt for the following season, including invitationals. Anyone outside that cutoff can improve his status in the fall events, at the conclusion of which the top 125 will be fully exempt for the following season.

This does not sound like the Korn Ferry guys are getting extra opportunities.  Sounds like the fall events will be for the current PGA Tour guys to continue fighting to round out the 125 we are used to seeing.  Then presumably Korn Ferry Tour Finals with the leftover guys after that?

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8 hours ago, Friz said:

fully expect access to events offering FEC points to be reduced

So what? FEC points only matter until August.

7 hours ago, Friz said:

This does not sound like the Korn Ferry guys are getting extra opportunities.

Yes it does. How do you think they’re filling those fields?

Aaaaaaaand, except for arguing about the tweet, who cares about KFT guys?

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49 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

Aaaaaaaand, except for arguing about the tweet, who cares about KFT guys?

Honestly I'm happy to leave it at this....someone cares about the KFT guys and there is potentially a separate conversation about making sure the path to the PGA Tour for the rank and file guys isn't unduly impacted....but it's not high on my priority list.

My whole original reply and subsequent replies was entirely about I understand the potential concern he is talking about moreso than I am personally concerned about it myself

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11 hours ago, jmanbooyaa said:

Is golf turning into a participation sport? I understand the need to make money, however you should need to play well to do that. 

I mean pretty much every single other major professional sport the players get paid every week regardless of how well they perform.

PGA Tour is rare in the sense that every single week the players have to beat half (roughly) of their peers to earn a paycheck.

 

I feel like these changes are good for the players, but don't really see how they improve things for the fan. To be fair these changes probably weren't designed to improve things for the fan, but improvements that made golf more exciting for fans would have been nice IMO

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