PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced a new professional golf tour for China. In partnership with the China Golf Association (CGA) and event promoter China Olympic Sports Industry, the PGA Tour will establish a series of professional golf tournaments throughout China.
Beginning next year, 12 events will comprise the new PGA China Tour, and each will offer a purse of about $200,000. The number of tournaments is expected to grow over time, and top money winners will earn Web.com Tour playing cards.
The European Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA Tour have all been increasing their presence in Asia. China is a country of 1.4 billion people and has an expanding economy.
The large population in China provides a tremendous growth opportunity for golf manufacturers and should help bolster profit margins for the golf industry for years to come.
In addition to the PGA China Tour, the PGA Tour operates PGA Latinoamerica and PGA Tour Canada. All three of these developmental tours will reward the top players with Web.com Tour exemptions.
For every winner in golf, someone else has to lose. With at least 15 Web.com Tour cards being given to top qualifiers from these three developmental tours, 15 fewer cards will be available for talented young American golfers seeking a spot on the Web.com Tour.
Many young players coming out of college may choose to attempt to qualify for the European Tour and earn their stripes traveling the world, much the same as Peter Uihlein has done over the past two years.
Since many of Europe’s top players now play full time on the PGA Tour, an infusion of new young talent from America can only help to revitalize the European Tour.
The new PGA China Tour will allow the golf industry to expand and grow in Asia. It will form a path for top Asian golf talent to find its way to the United States. The European Tour should benefit from young American professionals joining their tour.
The Web.com Tour will enhance its already international flavor, but a few aspiring golf professionals will be forced to find work elsewhere.
Professional athletics, and golf in particular, are competitive endeavors. With golf expanding globally at an exponential rate, the competition to eventually make it to the big show on the PGA Tour will become even more difficult.
These new developmental golf tours will help to identify the best golfers from all parts of the globe and give them an opportunity to find their way to the bright lights and big purses of the PGA Tour.