Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Greg Norman feels that PGA golfers should be willing to accept smaller purses in light of the country's economic situation. Yea right, and I suppose all professional athletes will allocate a portion of their tremendous salaries to decrease our national debt. The problem with inflated purses doesn't seem to be with the PGA, but with corporate sponsors who continue to be willing to pay huge sums of money to sponsor tour events. When they say no to huge dollars, you will also see TV revenues fall. That's when you will see a decrease in prize money. Last year's average purse per tour event was $5.8 million. The purse at the Northern Trust Open last weekend was $6.3 million, with a winner's share of $1.13 million. This coming from a sponsor that was granted a $1.6 billion bailout for the federal government, although they insist no TARP money was used for the tournament. Yea, like I insist I'm 6' 1" tall when I am only 5' 10" (the people who know me are shaking their heads at this analogy)! But at least golfers have to earn their paychecks. If they don't play well, they don't get paid well. And there are a lot of guys on tour who would not be able to be there if not for their personal sponsors subsidizing their income. It's not as glamorous as one would think for all the golfers. I understand Norman's point about pro golfers feeling like they are "recession proof", but they will continue to feel that way until the sponsors admit that they are the ones who are not exempt from the perils of recession.