Boswell On The PGA Tour’s New Schedule

I grew up in the Baltimore-Washington area, and while I lived and worked there read a lot of Thomas Boswell’s columns on sports—especially on baseball. He is one of the best sports writers I know. Now Boswell sounds off on the PGA Tour’s insult to Washington, D.C. in its new schedule.

“What happened last Friday is all about the money,” said one of the key Washington golf figures who has supported the Avenel event throughout the years. “What astounds me is that the Tour doesn’t understand how important Washington is to golf. A lot of decisions get made in this government that could impact a business that depends on a nonprofit structure.”

Its exactly what I wrote a couple of days ago. You will pay for snubbing the political world.

Then Boswell also emphasizes another point I made:

Golf believes it’s all grown up now and can act as imperious as baseball. Who needs a market with more than 5 million people? Golf thinks it can disrespect the same people who helped it climb the ladder to its success. But never fear. The day will come when Tiger Woods gets too old to carry the sport on his back.

In that instant, golf will meet the same people on the way back down to “minor sport” that it spurned on the way up. Then the PGA Tour will wish it had an entrenched June date here, rather than a tacky fling with FedEx in Memphis.

But, by then, Washington may tell the Tour what the Tour just told Washington: Drop dead.

I had written that

I can’t help but think that some of these “second tier” events—with their army of dedicated volunteers and strong community commitment—are one of the current strengths of the Tour. These events have character, and the people in those communities genuinely care about the tournaments, and PGA Tour golf. Selling out that bedrock for ever higher dollars doesn’t seem like a good long term strategy to me.

When, somewhere down the line, Big Box cancels its sponsorship of the MegaMart Championship at the Entirely Manufactured Golf Club in the City of the Week, no one is going to care. And when the PGA Tour moves that event to another city, and renames it the MultiCorp Shipping and Packing Championship at the Soulless Corporately Designed Fake Links, no one is going to notice.

It’s good to know that I’m thinking along the same lines as a writer that I much admire.

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