PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem has again opened up the discussion about a world tour that has been going on for at least the past twenty five years. He has recently said that he considers it in the best interests of the game to bring together the leading tours into one consolidated body to govern the whole sport.
“What is in the paramount best interests of mens and womens professional golf is coming under one unified organisation with a genuine global brand and being able to compete in global markets like football” (Commissioner Finchem actually said soccer, but as we all know soccer’s proper name is football).
“There aren’t many sports that are active on virtually every continent as golf is. We should be taking advantage of this”.
Chief Executive of the European Tour Keith Pelley is strengthening his tour by bringing about a merger with the Asian tour. This will change the global golf dynamics and will tap into latent revenue streams. The US PGA Tour are strengthening their ties with the ladies LPGA Tour. Pelley said he had no wish to endorse the Commissioner’s remarks. His players first policy means it will be at every stage his members who decide. To state that the European Tour should stand aside for a global tour is not something he would agree to.
“I believe we will have tremendous opportunities to show growth to players. Every decision we take will always be players first. What I have learnt since taking office is our diversity is our strength.
We are golf’s global tour.
We play in 26 countries on 5 continents, including the United States. We are in the process of making our tour a viable alternative to the tour in the United States. To do that we shall have to be aggressive. We are in the midst of rebuilding our commercial value for our potential and current partners”.
So that told them. Commissioner Finchem has been in post 20 years and has just said today that he may sign an extension to his current contract when it expires in June to help out Jay Monahan, who is expected to be his successor.
Merging the tours would bring an end to the Ryder Cup, and if the United States lose at Hazeltine later this year, it might be an option they would push for. As for the Europeans, their merging with the Asian tour might lead to calls for a Eurasian team.
We live in fascinating times for golf. Everything is a changing tide against some in golf who would keep everything the same even though it isn’t in the best interests of the game.