The PGA Tour schedule is full of tournaments and offers $6 million weekly in total prize money.
Commissioner Tim Finchem has his new wrap-around schedule in place and all of the tour cards for next year will either come from making the Top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings or by earning a spot via the Web.com Tour.
Since television found a handsome, swash-buckling hero on the golf links by the name of Arnold Palmer, television and golf have been a match made in heaven.
Golf appeals to a higher-income audience and advertisers want to reach a group that actually has the money to buy their products.
Thanks to television and Tiger Woods, the tour has come through the economic recession of the past few years relatively unscratched.
The six new events that now make up the Fall Series and signal the start of the 2014 season will offer $6 million purses and money earned by the players goes to FedEx Cup points for 2014.
Early round coverage of nearly every PGA Tour event is beamed around the world and available on the Golf Channel, ESPN or TNT. The big networks, CBS and NBC, provide weekend coverage for most events.
Speaking of around the world, beginning this year the PGA Tour has expanded and will hold official tournaments in Mexico, Malaysia and China. There are millions of new golf fans to entice in Asia and other regions of the world.
Tim Finchem has been the commissioner of the PGA Tour since 1994, when the total purse available to tour professionals was $56 million. It is now in excess of $260 million and is increasing to over $300 million in 2014.
The PGA Tour operates the Web.com, Canadian and Latinoamerica tours as developmental tours. These assure an adequate supply of young talent to push current PGA Tour members and keep the tour fresh and competitive.
When players turn 50 years old but aren’t ready to completely retire, they can even move over to the Champions Tour, which is also owned by the PGA Tour.
Commissioner Finchem has guided the tour through difficult economic times over the past few years and has the tour positioned to grow and continue to prosper well into the future.
Tiger Woods joined the PGA Tour in 1996 and has undoubtedly been the marquee player over Finchem’s tenure. A good manager has to know how to use his best assets. Tim Finchem is an excellent manager.
Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker and the other young players that will be earning a spot on the PGA Tour over the next 15-20 years will do well to appreciate the efforts of not only former players, but also former tour executives.
Joe Dey, Deane Beman and Tim Finchem have helped to mold the PGA Tour into the glamorous and lucrative profession that it has become.
Whoever inherits the Commissioner’s job after Finchem decides to ride off in his golf cart has some very big shoes to fill.