As I understand it, the PGA Tour is basically the property of the players themselves. It was set up to differentiate the guys who played golf for a living from the rest of the members of the PGA of America. It was the considered opinion of the Tour Players that the PGA of America was taking too much of the income from the tournaments.. So now we have a separate organization called the PGA Tour, which is only for players who are Tour Players. The players, in conjunction with the various managers they have hired, decide on what level of commitment any individual has to demonstrate to be a member of their "club".
If the players are independent contractors, how come there is a minimum number of tournaments they have to play each year? If they are independent, how come they have to get tour permission to play in conflicting events? If they are independent, how come they have to pay a rights fee to the tour when they appear on TV in a non-tour event? I guess I’m assuming there is going to be some entity to present the players, give them a platform. I just don’t know how much control the PGA TOUR should have on the talent if they do at all. I probably don’t know enough about the details to be commenting.😗
I didn't consider what a "replacement TV golf tour" might be, so maybe I should rephrase my opinion a bit. I think that seeing top-level golf on TV regularly is good for golf. Whether its the PGA Tour or top level amateurs or women or whatever, I think high-level golf on TV is good for the game of golf.
If there wasn't any televised golf at that level, we probably wouldn't have huge concerns over distance, nobody would be aware of how far the ball CAN be hit. We almost certainly would have slow play. Its possible it would be less of a problem, but we'll always have some players who are faster or slower than others, and conflicts between them. Who knows how our time would be spent, my best guess is that those of us who want to see sports on TV would have found something else to watch.
For costs of play, and of equipment, perhaps we wouldn't have seen the same level of technological advancements. Without a big publicity platform, perhaps there wouldn't have been the demand, perhaps we'd have fewer golfers, and fewer golf courses. I just don't know.
And last, I believe very little of my opinion relates to Tiger. My addiction to golf, and my enjoyment of watching the PGA Tour on TV both predate tiger by a couple of decades. As you say, without golf on TV its possible that Tiger would have excelled in a different sport, or in a completely different field.