The unmitigated greed of the PGA Tour and its imperial commish are working hard for golf's elite. At the same time the new order is clearly driving away television audiences with production values that haven't changed in decades and demanding more from loyal sponsors and delivering far less in terms of reach and value. But hey, let's just build more hospitality skyboxes - ain't that good for the game?
Doral seems to have shared a fate similar to that of the L.A. Open - events that used to draw great fields are now compromised by either an invitational format or (in the case of L.A.) a bad spot on the schedule where a bunch of good players skip it because of huge appearance fees in the Middle East.
The U.S.-centric kleptocracy of the PGA Tour and a lack of willingness to collaborate with other major tours (Europe and Australasia) might actually be holding back the power of marketing golf as a spectator sport. At a time when participation is growing on virtually every continent with the exception of North America, the PGA Tour is finding ever more ingenious ways to extort a larger piece of the pie.
March 22, 2007