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Anonymous Pro: Schmooze it or Lose It


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http://www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/...929880,00.html

Going forward, an event's 42 highest-ranked players will participate in the pro-am. The next 10 will be alternates, and the next 40 or so who don't get into the pro-am will have to spend 90 minutes at a sponsor function on Tuesday or Wednesday.

We know we have a bad economy and have to do something to help the companies that write our checks. And it's not that we don't appreciate the sponsors. But to tell guys that 52 of you may play and another 30 are on the hook to visit sponsors — that's a nightmare. I can tell you that every player would rather endure a five- or six-hour pro-am round than put on a happy face and hang out at a two-hour dinner.

Comments? Thoughts?

---------- Mine are as follows:
  • Lessen the load on sponsors by paying only the top 50 finishers each week. Keep only the top 75 on the exempt list for the next year. More turnover each year might prevent the career non-winners from coming back, year after year, never winning and yet still making millions of dollars.
  • Cut the whining crap, Mr. Anonymous Pro. Seriously, exactly how big is your sense of entitlement?
  • Plenty of jobs require schmoozing. And if you don't like schmoozing, play better and get into the pro-am. If you hate the parties that much and can't break par every round to crack the top 52 or so, find a "schmooze buddy" and go with him. 90 minutes of free food and the occasional short, random conversation about the weather and how good Tiger Woods really is can't be that bad.
  • Tiger Woods makes a helluva lot of money. You have him to thank, Mr. Anon, for your bloated paychecks for finishing T14 on any given week. And yet how often do you hear Tiger - who does more for the PGA Tour than anyone else despite arguably having to do the least to still positively impact things - whine? Never. If a guy worth nearly a billion bucks can do this stuff without bitching and moaning, you sure as hell can too.
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Agree with most of the points, however, i would add a couple ones as well.

- Completely agree with the point on reducing exemptions. I would also bring back Monday qualifying in a big way. Monday qualify for 20 spots, not 4.

- Need some clarity on how top 40 is being calculated. Is it this year's money, fedex cup points, last years $$ or world golf rankings?

- Make the pro-am mandatory for the top 40. If you don't play in the pro-am, you don't play in the tourney, no exceptions. period. If not this, then give 1 or 2 "approved" misses per year.

- I agree that the rank and file should still need to do some sponsor activities, but every week may be overkill. Again, if you give some "exceptions" out here you could probably appease the rank and file.

- Need to be sure that none of these sponsor events are during times when the course is open to all golfers. if you are forcing these guys to miss practice time when they can't play in the pro-am to begin with, they are major competitive issue.

- One more point which i am sure someone will bring up. Similar to the LPGA, how does this policy impact non-english speaking players (albeit the PGA has a fraction what the LPGA does). Will they require some basic communication skills in order to attend these events?
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Comments? Thoughts?

I, for one, would welcome being a TOUR puppet every Wednesday - and I mean all 52 of them, not just on weeks when I play golf (OK, that's 52) - for the paycheck that 90th on the money list has at end of the season.

Lessen the load on sponsors by paying only the top 50 finishers each week. Keep only the top 75 on the exempt list for the next year. More turnover each year might prevent the career non-winners from coming back, year after year, never winning and yet still making millions of dollars.

I like the idea of lowering the purses, but making up for it at the bottom end of the cut line instead of at the top. Playing 72 holes shouldn't be the paycheck guarantee. Look at how it was in the 1940s, for example, when only the top 20 got paid. I'm not suggesting 40s-era purses, but I like this idea. It would also stop the "make the cut then phone it in" attitude that frustrates me watching a Saturday "leader" board.

I wonder what keeping only 75 fully exempt would do to the playoffs. The question is how would you fill the field every week? More Monday qualifiers? More sponsor exemptions?
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It may not sound like much, but you're there to entertain, and you have to be "on" the entire time.

Hmm, how difficult is to prepare stuff for 90mins of conversation - that you can and probably will just use over and over again. And as 100th on the money list with a 750k pay check by the end of the year, i´m not really feeling your pain, sorry.

Maybe you guys should take some lessons from "teaching pros" - they are pretty good at schmoozing and entertaining aside from teaching - because they have to, else they wouldnt have any customers...
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I agree with the above comments.

I do understand a piece of what Mr. Anonymous is saying though... the same 25 guys or so are going to be doing the same sponsors events every single week. Heck, by the end of the season that's going to be boring for the sponsors! "Well, Bubba great talking to you again. Good luck tomorrow, and really looking forward to having the exact same phony conversation with you next week."

I'm all for making the pros interact more with their fans and sponsors... life on the PGA tour is pretty cush. But maybe they could rotate the players who spend time at the pro-am vs sponsors events so that individual players are doing both.
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Its a POLICY...it may change quicker then AK changes caddies! Yeah, schmoozing may be necessary, it happens anyway...look at ESPN, Golf CHannel, etc...schmooze'n Tiger...like they are gonna get some of his $$. The non top rated have to earn their stripes, so to speak, and perhaps a lil ass kiss'n is good for their soon to be over blown ego anyhow... I also think the sponsors may get tired of it as well and want the likes of the top 10 players at their dinner/socials. Meaning, if yer going to mandate (PGA Tour) players to come kiss my butt, I want the 'big guys'...they draw more schmoozers from the outside.
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I do understand a piece of what Mr. Anonymous is saying though... the same 25 guys or so are going to be doing the same sponsors events every single week. Heck, by the end of the season that's going to be boring for the sponsors! "Well, Bubba great talking to you again. Good luck tomorrow, and really looking forward to having the exact same phony conversation with you next week."

I would think that sponsors change every week, the same as amateurs playing in the pro-am.

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Eric's been on the bag for almost two years now. I don't think he's going away any time soon, either.

Actually, I just heard on TGC that AK is releasing or has released Larsen as his caddie.

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Link? I just searched AK on TGC and nothing came up?

http://www.thegolfchannel.com/shag-b...-caddie-33170/ Now that that's covered, let's get back to the topic, please.
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I agree with the above comments.

I agree, I've spent time at some of these events as a sponsor rep and I can tell you that some of the pros I've been introduced to I had to look up when I got home. Hi, It's so good to meet you (who the hell is this guy?) Wish you the best in the event (like you have a snowballs chance of beating Tiger or Strick or anybody else I've actually heard of). How bout them Dodgers? I sometimes can't believe some of these guys made it past the mini's. And I'm a working stiff making peanuts compared to some of these guys.

I'm sorry, did that sound bitter?
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[*]Lessen the load on sponsors by paying only the top 50 finishers each week. Keep only the top 75 on the exempt list for the next year. More turnover each year might prevent the career non-winners from coming back, year after year, never winning and yet still making millions of dollars.

I understand your frustration, but not the solution. Moving exemptions from 125 to 75 means logistical problems where 50 more golfers (perhaps their families) and their caddy's won't have much time to plan their schedule thus complicating travel arrangements as well as the cost. And for what? So that another set of guys that aren't going to win either get to show up?

Unfortunately the PGA tour is a club. We may not like what they do with it but it's their club. If you don't like the spoiled attitude of many a PGA pro, I don't blame you. Support the women, they actually don't take the fan and corporate events for granted.
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I understand your frustration, but not the solution. Moving exemptions from 125 to 75 means logistical problems where 50 more golfers (perhaps their families) and their caddy's won't have much time to plan their schedule thus complicating travel arrangements as well as the cost.

Sorry, but I'm buyin' it. There may be some valid arguments against cutting from 125 to 75, but travel planning and cost? That's weak at best. Besides, the PGA Tour has a full staff of travel agents and assistants to help with this sort of stuff, and most pros don't book a ticket more than a week or two ahead of time anyway. Many book within three days. Or within three hours (when they miss the cut).

This isn't exactly the thread for "why would you cut down the eligibility list," but my reasons primarily stem from being sick of seeing players get by on a few top tens a year and nothing else. I'd like to see more turnover - maybe people will go for the win more often than a comfy top 10.
Unfortunately the PGA tour is a club. We may not like what they do with it but it's their club. If you don't like the spoiled attitude of many a PGA pro, I don't blame you. Support the women, they actually don't take the fan and corporate events for granted.

It's not an either/or. I support the LPGA Tour as well.

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