Has Bob Hope Classic Become "Hopeless"?

josh millarSenior Analyst IJanuary 23, 2009

This week is a special stop on the PGA Tour, or at least it used to be.

In Southern California, the Bob Hope classic is underway. The format is a unique one: a five-day, four-course pro-am.

Bob Hope passed away in 2003, and the tournament may as well have died with him. No top 10 players are in the field this week.

But we cannot blame the golfers. They are, after all, independent contractors, and the European Tour’s desert swing with the perks of appearance money has become a more viable option.

That does not lessen the sadness I and many others may feel.

Bob Hope was a genuine fan and an ambassador of the great game of golf, so much so that the great Arnold Palmer has assumed hosting duties for the week.

I don’t know what can be done to help this tournament, but I hope it does turn around. It is a great opportunity to attract a new audience to the game because of the presence of celebrities.

Take a lesson from the Wachovia Championship and the desert swing: Throw in some perks. This tournament deserves its own unique place in history.

That won't happen with second-rate fields.