With the exception of the Majors, except the ladies ones, you can basically buy, sorry sponsor, any tournament you want these days.
Why could we not just have “The Bob Hope” presented by ??
What next though? Pfizer present the Viagra stroke play championship??
Truth be known its not that long ago we had the Johnnie Walker Ryder Cup! Hard to imagine that these days.
In fairness golf is not the only sport to sell out. It seems whenever a professional sports team need to build a new stadium any name will do, The Emirates, The Lincoln Financial, The Reebok, just who ever comes up with the cash.
Unfortunately golf seems to suffer the most though.
How often do we see a breakthrough player or a Major winner suddenly appear with new sponsors?
Your good golfers, and make no mistake about it all professionals are very, very good, can play with anything, we can’t.
So why do golf companies spend a fortune on certain players? Purely to get us to buy.
Gone are the days when a youngster would get a halt set to start playing, well gone in fact.
Now they HAVE to get the clubs, the bag, the hat, the shoes of who ever is flavour of the month but more importantly who markets well.
When Acushnet sold Cobra to Puma the following day Rickie Fowler posted “I am a Titleist guy” less than 2 years later he is a Cobra guy. So is it for better equipment or for a cheque ?? I know what I think.
Trust me not all of us suit Puma, believe me !!
Have you noticed so far less “middle of the pack” with golf manufacturers logos on their caps? With every one feeling the pinch less and less players are getting expensive contracts, they may receive a smallish signing on bonus but a lot of manufacturers are just increasing their bonus pools.
A player could be in as many as 7 bonus pools.
What is a bonus pool? Basically you could be in a bonus pool for your wood, irons wedges, putter, clothes, balls and shoes. A win is worth X amount and places in top twenty worth Y amount on a descending scale.
And you cant blame companies for going down that route, how many millions have been wasted on “the next big thing” only to see them back in Q school the following season? I adore David Duval but did Nike really get their monies worth from him?
I spoke recently to one LET player who was offered irons at cost price, less a discount !! Honestly.
The overall effect this has on me is I am more likely to trust equipment tips from woman professionals because the vast majority are playing clubs of their choice, not what they are getting paid for.