Examine in each week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the most well liked subjects within the sport, and be a part of the dialog by tweeting us @golf_com. This week, we focus on the trailer for the brand new Netflix PGA Tour docuseries, Tour payouts and the beginning of the LPGA season.
1. Netflix launched its trailer for its much-anticipated PGA Tour docuseries, modeled after the favored F1 Drive to Survive. It can additionally apparently function Rory McIlroy, which wasn’t identified till the trailer got here out. Dubbed Full Swing, it premieres Feb. 15. What are you most wanting ahead to seeing on this docuseries, and do you suppose it’ll achieve attracting the non-golfer or viewer who doesn’t watch professional golf already?
Netflix releases trailer, particulars for a lot anticipated PGA Tour docuseries
Ryan Barath, Senior Tools Editor (@RDSBarath) As a hardcore golf fan, I’m excited to get extra of an inside have a look at skilled golfers, their views on the state of the tour as a complete, and generally, a behind-the-curtain have a look at the majors.
The problem that this present will create for brand new followers is an outdated one: how golf is offered on TV. Between TV home windows and the way some golfers are taking part in, regardless of how many individuals love seeing Joel Dahmen on the Waste Administration, attempting to see him on a traditional broadcast is subsequent to unattainable. That is the place F1 nonetheless has an enormous benefit, since each race is each driver, although with the brand new designated occasions, I suppose that’s what the Tour is attempting to perform.
Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): I’m most excited to see my coworkers’ cameos! A handful of GOLF staffers have been mic’d up at numerous occasions final 12 months, and I’m stoked to see how they’re featured within the present. So far as attracting non-golfers, I’m positive the LIV-PGA Tour rivalry must be an intriguing storyline. Drama sells, and there was nothing extra dramatic in professional golf final season than the Saudi saga.
Jack Hirsh, Assistant Editor (@JR_HIRSHey): I’ve polled a few of my mates who’re both simply moving into golf or not into golf, and most are at the very least intrigued. I haven’t gotten to look at the F1 collection, however when that got here out, I really feel like I knew lots of people who abruptly turned F1 followers. I’d be stunned if it had the identical impression, however I feel we will count on a very good variety of individuals to be launched to the sport by it. I’m most wanting ahead to seeing the gamers react to LIV in real-time. So cool they acquired Poulter!
Dylan Dethier, senior author (@dylan_dethier): Will it impact non-golf followers? In fact — it’s Netflix. It’s arduous to think about a greater strategy to attain new audiences than to faucet into their monumental record of content-hungry subscribers. What am I most wanting ahead to? Peeking backstage as a number of stars make life-changing selections about launching to LIV.
2. Harry Higgs advised Golfweek he thinks the PGA Tour could have an issue with its TV product now that a number of large personalities have jumped to LIV. “We joke forwards and backwards, [LIV] took all of the a**holes,” Higgs stated. “They took all of the villains. And that’s an issue.” What do you concentrate on his evaluation?
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Barath: Sports activities are fashionable as a result of they’re entertaining ,and as a lot as it’d change into simpler to interact informal followers with rivalries and ‘good’ vs. ‘unhealthy,’ I feel most golf followers tune in to look at golfers at a excessive stage attempt to win occasions. So total I don’t actually agree with Harry on this.
Melton: I feel Higgs has acquired a terrific level. Each sport wants its heels, and the Tour has misplaced most of theirs. Having no true “villains” takes a bit little bit of juice away from the Tour’s product.
Hirsh: Each sport has its villains. The NFL has the Patriots and the Cowboys. The MLB has the Yankees. The NBA has the Lakers. Folks like to have one thing to hate. That’s at all times been a bit harder in golf, however there have been positively guys who performed the function at the very least. I feel shedding sure guys hurts a bit, however given the best way golf is, I feel it’s extra of a constructive. I stand with RB’s extra optimistic view.
Dethier: The Participant Affect Program primarily ranks gamers by their worth to the Tour — and LIV claimed 5 of the highest 10 gamers from the 2021 PIP. (Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.) That’s not good! The Tour depends upon the storylines of its personalities and now a number of of these personalities are gone. Extra will change ‘em, in fact. However that may take time.
3. The PGA Tour has lengthy distributed 18 % of its event purses to the winner in its typical 36-hole lower occasions, with second place normally taking residence round 10 to 11 %. Adam Scott was requested about this on the Sony Open and urged 40 % be given to the winner. (“Reward excellence,” he stated) Jordan Spieth stated he wasn’t against the winner’s share rising “a pair factors” however disagreed with as a lot as 40 %. For comparability, LIV Golf paid 20 % to its seven particular person event winners. Is the PGA Tour as a consequence of tweak this quantity? Why hasn’t it?
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Barath: Traditionally, the Tour was created to supply professionals the power to “make a dwelling,” however with a lot cash within the sport on the highest stage, I feel Adam Scott is true. One of the best of one of the best must be rewarded monumentally greater than somebody in fiftieth place.
The Tour must have extra volatility and fewer exempt gamers, however with the present construction as a members’ group, it’s fairly arduous to get a majority of these members to vote towards their finest pursuits in the event that they’re not a high 50 participant, which is probably going a part of the rationale issues are so sluggish to alter.
Melton: Tweaking the quantity and “rewarding excellence” would possibly sound like a terrific thought to the highest stars, however the journeymen would doubtless take umbrage on the suggestion. And with the everyman professional representing a majority of the Tour, it appears unlikely that the quantity will ever inflate to Scott’s urged determine.
Hirsh: I agree, Zeph. A pair factors might be within the works, however didn’t we simply make a collection of occasions that may pay $3.8 million or extra to the winners? That appears like rewarding excellence to me. By creating the designated occasions, I consider the Tour has already achieved the identical objective as tweaking the payout construction. For it to alter would simply anger the everyman professional greater than they already have been. And the Tour NEEDS the everyman professional.
Dethier: Positive, I may see giving ‘em just a few extra share factors, although 40 looks as if rather a lot. I’d put extra vitality behind giving the highest finishers in smaller occasions (just like the Sentry) extra World Rating factors. The brand new system appears to have let down its winners in these occasions and may undertake a steeper level slope. (Simply ask Jon Rahm.)
4. Subsequent week’s American Categorical discipline is loaded with 10 of the world’s top-19 gamers, together with 5 of the highest seven, even supposing it’s not one of many Tour’s 17 big-money designated occasions. There was some concern, at the very least from the surface, that the tournaments that weren’t designated for 2023 would see less-than-stellar fields with fewer stars, however that’s not the case subsequent week in La Quinta. Are you stunned, and can we see extra of this with different non-designated tournaments?
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Barath: For those who have a look at the massive image, I’m not stunned. My reasoning is whatever the purse, these non-designated occasions nonetheless reward the identical quantity of FedEx Cup factors, which for high gamers (taking part in effectively) truly offers a doubtlessly simpler probability to stack up factors in comparison with the “large occasions” with extra greater rating gamers. I additionally suppose that as a result of it’s an occasion at first of the 12 months, quite a lot of these high gamers who didn’t play as a lot within the fall wish to get off to a very good begin. The true query is what occurs to the smaller occasions come the canine days of summer season.
Melton: I’m a bit stunned the AmEx has such a powerful discipline, however quite a lot of the highest stars haven’t performed a lot significant golf in a number of months. They’re itching for competitors. I’d count on we’ll see a few of the non-elevated occasions within the non-major season have unexpectedly sturdy fields, however through the grind of the summer season, high stars will doubtless stick with the established order.
Hirsh: The AmEx appears to have a stronger discipline than in years’ previous, however I feel that has extra to do with the place it’s on the schedule than the rest. After the Sentry, there isn’t one other designated occasion till the Phoenix Open the second week of February. January can be the one month till July with only one designated occasion. As soon as Phoenix hits, nonetheless, there are 4 designated occasions in 5 weeks. A lot of the large names taking part in Palm Springs will most likely take Torrey and Pebble off earlier than that gauntlet stretch. The opposite half is all the highest gamers have a quota to satisfy for non-designated FedEx Cup occasions. Somebody like Rahm, who performed the CJ Cup final October, wants so as to add just one common occasion to his schedule for the remainder of the 12 months.
Dethier: Good factors from all people right here — schedule and site are each within the AmEx’s favor — and I’m guessing some sponsors have discovered methods to make it definitely worth the gamers’ whereas to attend, too.
5. The LPGA kicks off its 2023 season this week on the Hilton Grand Holidays Event of Champions. What’s the one storyline you’re looking ahead to unfolding within the subsequent 12 months?
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Barath: At the beginning, as one in all GOLF’s “gear nuts,” my large factor to look at goes to be a few of the high gamers altering tools producers, together with whether or not any of those gamers are going to get off to slower begins in 2023, or simply preserve rolling.
Secondly, I’m hoping to proceed to look at the re-emergence of Lydia Ko after her large comeback 12 months in 2022. The one factor she didn’t accomplish was successful a serious, and all indicators level to her doing that in 2023.
Melton: I’m able to see if Nelly Korda can get again to her 2021 world-beating kind. She struggled a bit final 12 months with harm and inconsistency, however she capped off the 12 months with a win. If she will keep wholesome all season, I count on 2023 to be one other banner 12 months.
Hirsh: Would you consider me if I advised you Lexi Thompson final gained on the LPGA Tour in 2019? Age 27 is terribly younger to have a three-year-winless drought. She did win an LET occasion on the Aramco occasion in New York, so I’ll have an interest to see if she will take that momentum again to the LPGA Tour, or perhaps a main.
Dethier: How will Lydia Ko fare as World No. 1? That is the third act (at the very least) of her profession, and it’s been fascinating to look at her climb the mountain once more. I’m curious what she’ll do on the high.
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