Forget about the PGA Tour. What about everyone else?

John Craven

Jordan Spieth at the short 17th at Sawgrass (Photo by Logan Bowles/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Designated events. Strategic Alliances. LIV Golf. Netflix Full Swing. Selling products. Schmoozing sponsors. Private jets. $20m purses. $100m contracts. $1,000 card hands. Ian Poulter’s struggle for generational wealth.

Men’s pro golf has been pretty exhausting of late… dispiriting, obnoxious, embarrassing, woefully out of touch. Call it what you want but I’ve never felt further from the game’s top players; their wealth so unattainable that they are completely unrelatable. Preaching to me about product. Pretending to care about fans, when in reality, all we’ve heard about over the past year is how these multi-millionaires are underpaid. The same fellas showered in riches so vast that winning at their sport isn’t even important.

It’s why I’ve been so against LIV Golf, and so bemused by the people fiercely in favour of it. Meaningless money driven scutter dressed up as a golf series. Golf but shitter.


I couldn’t give a fiddlers how much money anyone earns in any walk of life. It couldn’t be less interesting, whether you’re a postman or a PGA Tour player. We’ve had plenty of bollocksology stuffed down our throats over the past year of how the PGA Tour was different to that shower of Saudis trying to buy the game. Words like meritocracy and the importance of tradition. The culture of winning. The history it carries. The legacy it creates.

It all sounded so pure. Turns out it was nothing but a pipe dream; the PGA Tour instead opting to launch money games of their own just to appease their power players in an effort to keep them from Norman’s clutches. As if the eye-watering riches that already existed on the PGA Tour could never be enough.

But every now and then I catch myself ranting like this and I think, ‘cop yourself on, John. They don’t own men’s pro golf. This is but a tiny proportion of it. Nothing but elites paying lip service to lesser lights with buzz words like grow the game.’ And never was that more apparent than this week when I went about compiling the content schedule for Ireland’s tour stars not lucky enough to be plying their trade on the PGA Tour.

And sure, the DP World Tour was there after a week’s break, Tom McKibbin, Gary Hurley and John Murphy hoping for some magic in Kenya. But after that, well, Jaysus, tumbleweeds…

I was messaging Paul McBride who signed off on a nice fortnight on the Alps Tour with a T15 finish last week about his upcoming calendar. It’s not good. The Alps Tour isn’t back until April 20th and as of right now, there’s nowhere else for Ireland’s satellite tour hopefuls to swing a club in anger, even if they had the bottomless pockets of the Saudis putting up the entry fee.

The MENA Tour website is stuck in a time warp with no events on the horizon. The Challenge Tour is on hiatus for a month. The EuroPro Tour is no more. The Clutch Pro Tour doesn’t start back til April. Tartan Tour? ‘Is May any good to you?’ There’s diddly squat on the European Pro Golf Tour. Or the Toro Tour.

The living ain’t easy out there for fledgling pros, players who have already had their plans derailed by covid. There’s a back-log of serious talent fighting for entries to kickstart careers and not a tournament to play in. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour shuts the door even further by limiting fields to 70 players in its designated elite love-in series from next year.

Well, I for one say they can have it. I’ll take the story of the lad flying economy to the Alps Tour please. The one where he pays a grand all up in expenses and needs a top-10 finish to stand any chance of breaking even. It’s that jeopardy that makes golf interesting. Where a cut line is razor sharp, and those on the wrong side of it feel the pain of its incision.

Give me that grind any day, and more importantly, give the players soldiering on in the hopes of one day making a living from this great game a chance to bloody earn it.

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One response to “Forget about the PGA Tour. What about everyone else?”

  1. Jeffery Wack avatar
    Jeffery Wack

    I absolutely agree. Utter selfishness of a golf elite, who are completely out of touch and unrelatable, collaborating to pull up the drawbridge that protects their castles against their fans and up-and-comers. And the literal physical expression of this: Palm Beach County.

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