Opportunity to Excel

Previously I reported Michael Breed’s proposal players missing the cut in PGA Tour events should be paid. His thinking is these 80 or so players still have expenses, their presence has contributed entertainment value and therefore deserve compensation.

In opposition were my points based on the fact gaining a PGA Tour does not and should not guarantee a player will earn money. It simply provides the opportunity. In addition, there is a question as to the where the $10 million required to fund this for a full season would come from. Breed’s feeling was it could be raised by soliciting additional sponsor dollars or maybe “charging $1 more for a beer.”

Both ideas in my view are unrealistic.

Breed is consistently ranked as one of the most respected teachers in the game and as host of A New Breed of Golf on Sirius XM Radio he is not one to shy away from a topic nor reluctant to voice an opinion.

After my column “Why Not Just Give Everyone a Trophy?” appeared he called, and we talked for over half an hour. It would be fair to say neither of us changed our opinion and the friendly exchange ended by agreeing to disagree however some interesting points were raised.

Breed said, and of course it is true, the PGA Tour is very well off financially with an immense income and it’s not just from selling the broadcast rights for the Tour events. They also have an extensive real estate/golf course operation not to mention income from the use of their brand name by a variety of “partners.” He also brought up the agreement recently signed with Discovery Channel for $2 billion covering the international rights fees for Tour events plus the immense potential of revenue due to the advent of legalized gambling in this country.

Bottom line is Breed believes the money is there to pay all the players something and they deserve it because they have earned a Tour card.

On the other hand, just as golf is unique among sports, professional golf is unique in the world of pay-for-play. Players are independent contractors and got into the business understanding there are no guarantees. In fact, that is the essence of the PGA Tour setting it apart any other professional sport.

Players on the PGA Tour have the chance to exhibit their skills in the face of intense competition. It is a bastion of individuality and an arena where the spotlight always shines.

Playing on the PGA Tour shouldn’t be just another job with a minimum wage disguised as an appearance fee rewarded for being unable to make the cut.

Playing privileges on the PGA Tour are an opportunity to excel.

Why Not Just Give Everyone a Trophy?


Michael Breed on his Sirius XM PGA Tour radio show A New Breed of Golf has proposed players missing the cut in PGA Tour events should be paid.

If I understand his premise correctly Breed feels these players have expenses and by their presence they contribute to the entertainment value of the tournament. A typical tournament field has 156 players with the low 70 scores and ties after the second round going on to play the final two rounds thereby “making the cut.”

Those with scores outside the cut receive no money but Breed says these 86 cut-missing toursters should receive a “minimum wage” of $3,000 as an appropriate amount to offset expenses.

It’s unclear where this money should come from but those making the cut certainly couldn’t be expected to be in favor of reducing their prize money nor would it make sense to decrease the amount going to the local charities benefiting from the PGA Tour tournaments in their cities. But Breed appears to think the solution is simple…just raise additional money from sponsors which if you do the math would be more than $250,000 each week.

The reasonableness of somehow magically finding a sponsor or sponsors to put up the $10 million needed to fund this scheme for an entire PGA Tour season is something out of never-never land.

Breed just hasn’t thought this through.

Why should those missing the cut be paid simply because they have made a choice to pursue a particular career?

Unlike other “jobs” they weren’t interviewed and then hired for their PGA Tour card. They simply showed up with their golf clubs and proved in an intense competitive environment they were good enough to try to take prize money away from DJ, Tiger, Phil and all the others.

Paying someone for showing up is the same as giving every kid a trophy so no one goes home with hurt feelings. You and I know life isn’t like that.