The PGA Tour will not come out and say ‘yes’, nor for that matter has the Tour yet to go public but news of the creation of a massive $40 million bonus pool for its 10 most popular stars can only be seen as a carrot to stop any defection of the Tour’s top stars to the rival Premier Golf League.
The Tour labelled the ‘carrot’ the Player Impact Program and its design is to “recognize and reward players who positively move the needle” on fan and sponsor engagement, a Tour spokesperson told Golfweek.
The $40 million will be distributed among 10 players at the end of the year, with the most valuable getting $8 million. And what is surprising is that the program has been underway since January 1st this year and not an official word from the Tour.
There are six criteria the players will be judged on to determine the distributions. And again according to Golfweek, those criteria are:
- “Ranking on the season-ending FedEx Cup points list.”
- “Popularity in Google search.”
- “Nielsen Brand Exposure rating, which places a value on the exposure a player delivers to sponsors though the minutes they are featured on broadcasts.”
- “Q Rating, which measures the familiarity and appeal of a player’s brand.”
- “MVP Index rating, which calibrates the value of the engagement a player drives across social and digital channels.”
- “Meltwater Mentions, or the frequency with which a player generates coverage across a range of media platforms.”
The results of each will be converted into Impact Scores, per the report, that will create the standings and the dollars distribution.
The PIP is seen as a response to the Premier Golf League, a Saudi Arabia-backed venture that has made attempts to attract the PGA Tour’s top players by promising big sums just to show up, Golfweek reported.
In its communication to players, the Tour indicated it undertook a simulation of the 2019 season and rendered a Top 10. No prize for guessing who came out on top: Tiger Woods followed by Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.