Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Three PGA Tours

For most of us when we think of Men’s Professional Golf we think of the three primary tours here in the USA. They are; The Nationwide Tour, PGA Tour, and Champions Tour. I have been saying for several years there are actually three versions of the Men’s PGA Tour.

The Big PGA Tour is the primary PGA Tour that includes the best players, biggest events, Major championships and now The FedEx Cup Championships. This tour holds all the big events, sees the best players on a frequent basis and draws the focus and attention of the average spectator.

The Second Tour has all the “other” events besides the big tournaments. Not to take anything away from these events but they just do not get the top players entering the events. They are held throughout the season and are played with little fanfare.

The Final Tour is the Nationwide Tour or as some would call it, the minor leagues. Not that the players are minor league in any shape or fashion. This tour has a lot of great players who have played on the Big Tour in the past, and will be on there again in the future. However, due to the PGA Tours size limitation, the remaining players need a place to play and compete if they wish to remain in the US. For most of them, this is where they play.

Most recently, there is the PGA Tours “Fall Series”. The Fall Series is a set of events that are going on right now after the Big Tour winds down. In my opinion, the Fall Series is the PGA Tours creative way of drawing attention to the events and to create a buzz. Let’s face it; most of us do not pay a lot of attention to events where Tiger, Phil or Ernie is not playing. I watch golf more than most and even I pay little attention to these events.

I remember a few years ago when Tim Finchem (PGA Tour Commissioner) had a disagreement with Greg Norman over an idea that allows the best players in the world to play against each other on a global basis. Norman wanted to create a World Tour whereby, the best players around the globe could compete against each other in a set number of events each season. Tim Finchem of course, was against the idea and chastised Norman for the concept. In the end, Norman was correct and Finchem saw it as a threat to the “PGA Tour Brand”. However, Finchem went on to create this very concept with the current PGA Tour schedule. On the (Big PGA Tour) there are the Four Majors, FedEx Championships, Players Championship, The Memorial and Bay Hill, etc. This is where the best players in the world gather to compete for prestigious titles and a lot of money. The remainder of the events (Second Tour) may be classified as the PGA tour but really they are not. Below is a quote from PGA Tour Member Charles Howell recently which illustrates my point on the inequity that exists among the events.

“Somehow (Fall Series events) got classified with an invisible asterisk besides them,” Howell said on Sunday at the McGladrey Classic. “If you win some of these tournaments, you should get in the Masters. How you can make a decision where if a guy wins a Fall Series event he's not in the Masters. I don't understand that. You look at the field we have this week. Sometimes decisions like that are made that aren't the best decisions.”

Source; Golf Channel.com

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