Golf News

PGA Tour’s signature events still need tweaking

Scottie Scheffler wins 2024 Travelers Championship

For a sport that prides itself on enduring traditions, men’s professional golf has come to be defined by impermanence — of player loyalty, of executive postures, of fan interest, of fiscal prudence and, now, of leadership. The adroit Seth Waugh is departing as CEO of the PGA of America, an organization burdened with a governance model ill-suited to a modern sports organization, while his former Deutsche Bank colleague Martin Slumbers will soon follow at the R&A. The PGA Tour’s leadership team is unchanged, but the same can’t be said of its boardroom and business structure, the reshaping of which will be as radical as it is overdue. Per the cliché, change is inevitable but growth is optional, and the Tour has an early opportunity to demonstrate how quickly it can learn and adapt.

Faced with LIV’s irrational economics, the PGA Tour mimicked the madness, largely because players actually seem to believe themselves worth a multiple of what the market previously dictated. The Brinks trucks delivering on their demands are the signature events, eight limited-field tournaments with $20 million purses that — alongside majors, the Players and the FedEx Cup playoffs — account for almost all appearances top players will make each season.

The last signature event, the Travelers Championship, concluded last week. The concept should be considered a success in that it produced strong leaderboards and something approximating a guaranteed product for sponsors and broadcasters. Still, it’s a learning curve to get this stuff right and it’s not quite right yet.

When possible, signatures are scheduled for consecutive weeks, separated by windows in which those outside of the top 50 (who are automatically exempt) can play their way in. Good on paper, problematic in practice. At a point in the season when rank-and-file members are scrapping for status, too many were furloughed for three weeks because signature stops bookended the U.S. Open. Tournaments that shoulder signatures experience a paucity of star power. Even star players have gripes with the schedule: they gear their years around majors, each with his own preference on how to best prepare and recover. Every major this season was preceded or followed (or both!) by a signature. Add the subtext of Arnold Palmer’s family and Jack Nicklaus thinking they’re running retro U.S. Opens at Bay Hill and Muirfield Village, and players were bruised heading into, respectively, the Players and the actual U.S….


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…