Would you like to find out how popular you really are at work? Join the PGA Tour!
As first reported by Golfweek (and subsequently confirmed by everyone under the sun), the Tour will present ten golfers a bonus amount of money from a $40 million pot. These guys are not only good, they are rich!
It’s called the Player Impact Program (PIP), and it began on New Year’s Day. So, why hasn’t the Tour rolled this out yet to the public? Well, the criteria to win the PIP could conceivably surface someone who hasn’t made the cut all season. We’re looking at you, Rickie Fowler! (It’s a joke. Sort of.) Or had a catastrophic car crash this year.
I’m curious why Dan Hicks and Jim Nantz haven’t used part of the golf broadcast to describe how it works and provide standings. The Golfweek report suggests popularity in Google searches, Nielsen Brand Exposure (how many times they are featured on the golf broadcast), Q rating (how well liked they and their brand calculates in some sort of metric on Tour), MVP Index (at this point I’m laughing hysterically – how many times the Tour pro interacts on social media) and something called Meltwater Mentions (frequency between different social channels).
I long for the days of just the FedEx Cup.
Quite simply, the PGA Tour is seen as implementing the program because they don’t want their stars going to the proposed Premier Golf League (PGL), which may or may not even take place. The PGL actually started to bubble up before the pandemic. It features a ton of cash, including from the Saudi government, and zero prestige. Are they going to create a tournament called “The Premier Masters” and hand out a platinum jacket?
I’m using ridiculous exaggerations because all of this looks sillier than an Adam Sandler movie before “ Uncut Gems.” The criteria for the PIP boils down to popularity. That’s neat and everything, but there’s a cacophony of awards at the end of the season. When Tiger Woods wins the top spot in the inaugural PIP campaign – and he will – what message do we send to golf fans, especially kids? Wouldn’t that kind of become counter intuitive to the point of the initiative?
The guys that make a ton of money on the PGA Tour don’t really need more millions. If you're a popular pro golfer, what can you buy with $8 million that you couldn't already buy?
I’m somewhat relieved this initiative isn’t Facebook official yet – get it? They have to iron out the qualification for the funds and maybe throw in a “golf thing” to make crusty middle-aged men like myself happy. I’m just not buying a high-school race for President near the end of a pandemic to appease loyal and potential golf fans.