By: David Lamm
Is the time right for professional golf to have a global tour for the world’s top players?
It was 26 years ago when Greg Norman proposed such a thing. Norman’s idea was quickly shot down and Norman has been considered a bit of an outcast ever since.
But golf has become more and more of a global game since Norman’s proposal. Top players routinely play all over the world. Travel is easier. The money is greater.
Norman’s proposal resulted in the establishment of the four World Golf Championship tournaments like last week’s in Mexico City.
The new proposal, made by a group from Europe, calls for 18 tournaments a year featuring 48 players. Each will have at least a $10 million purse. 10 will be played in the U.S.
Consider the fact the four majors, the four WGC events and, perhaps, The Players, would be part of the new tour, half the schedule is completed.
Obviously, such a tour would be devastating to the existing tours. Most of the feedback from the top players has been negative so far.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy says he’s a “no” to such an idea. But McIlroy admits he’d have to consider it if a lot of the top players decide to give it a try.
Most of the negative feedback deals with the players being independent contractors who make their own schedules. They don’t like to be told what to do.
Still, if the tour is made up of tournaments the top players usually play in, what’s the problem?
Such a tour is far from reality, but it’s closer than it was 25 years ago. Don’t bet against it this time.