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Required Reading: DTF's Analysis Of PGA Tour's 2010 990

Scroll your way down to Reader DTF's analysis of the PGA Tour's Form 990 and, in light of the PGA Tour's rules staff working without a contract this week; note those bloated executive salaries.

Not many non-profits can boast an executive payroll like that!

Nine millionaires in 2010, including quite hilariously, Sid Wilson pictured here doing some of his finest work chauffering Commissioner Bonuses For Buddies around in a golf cart.

In light of the news this week that the PGA Tour rules staff is working 2013 without a contract, here's one to chew on: under the rules staffer's current pay and benefits package, it would take fifteen years of service for a PGA Tour rules official to make what a (mostly non-union) first-year PGA Tour agronomist currently rakes in.

That's not to diminish the work of the agronomists who have certainly elevated standards and provided superintendents with the support to get their job done, but the agonomists essentially report to the rules staff.

More than that, for a Commissioner obsessed with image, how can he possibly think it would look good to lavish so much pay on VP's and scrimp on the people whose decisions can make or break the integrity of the "product"?

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Reader Comments (24)

This picture could be caption-worthy.
How about: "Sid, I think you're wrong. I'm sure the clubhouse is up here."
01.6.2013 | Unregistered Commenter3Jack
Geoff are you sure the agronomists essentially report to the rules staff?
I may be guessing here but I would think 99% of the agronomists work is done before the rules staff set foot on the property. In fact, are PGA agronomists even on sight during a tournament?
01.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
Does it really matter, Brad? No matter how you slice it, this pizza tastes like *&^%!
01.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreg C
Nice to see Del's efforts being noted.

Now how about Steve or Peter or one of you regular reader/writers running with this, with due credit to DTF, of course.
01.6.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
While I'm on a roll here's just a little bit more to chew on ;o)

Annual comp for Commish Finchem from 2002-2010:

GRAND TOTAL = 36,478,978

A few notes...

-> formatting of these 990's can change dramatically year-to-year, sometimes a bit of interpolation is required. I am CERTAIN I've made some mistakes but overall I think the figures and picture are accurate.

-> some years the PGA Tour Inc. form-990 completely omitted compensation data an replaced it with "see attached schedule", well that schedule can only be found at Tour offices. The good news is affiliated organizations, like PGA Tour Charities, often contain the same/desired data and this was the case for several of the earlier years.

-> the only year for which I could not locate specific comp data was 2006, it was omitted by PGA Tour Inc. and the entire PGA Tour Charities form-990 is missing for that year. So, I just plugged in a number that was a little more than 2005 and it looks about right based on the trend.

-> after motoring along in the $3,000,000 range for 5 years the Commish had a breakout year in 2008 where his comp basically doubled from 2007. I am reasonably certain the $7,135,040 is a good number. 2005-2006-2007 were very heady years for the Tour and the player retirement fund was up about 50% to $610,000,000 at year-end 2007 from $410,000,000 in 2004. I'm sure prize money and all the other metrics looked great too (maybe a new TV contract in there?). Based on that 3 year run I suspect that in late 2007 the aforementioned "compensation consultants" convened and decided it prudent to recommend substantially increased "target" pay levels for the Commish in 2008 -- and clearly the "compensation committee" agreed! With the world hellish and in a hand-basket in 2009 and 2010 pulling him back a tad was probably deemed prudent and optically desirable by the consultants and comp committee.

So, here's what I wonder...

...would the AGGREGATE COMPENSATION of ALL the Tour Rules Officials in the HISTORY of the PGA Tour even REMOTELY APPROACH what Finchem was paid from 2002-2010?

Let's not forget that by the conclusion of this wonderful New Year it sure seems likely that the Commish will surely have exceeded $50,000,000 in comp in a 12-year time frame (2002-2013). That's one big pile of money even by Wall Street standards!!

(to be cont.)
01.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Observation --> while I'm sure he's loved by friends and family I'm confident Mr. Finchem could disappear for 2 months and the PGA Tour would not miss a beat....

....can the same be said of Tour Rules Officials?

I mean seriously, just look at what's going on this week....these guys are "KEY MEN"....big time!!

(to be cont.)
01.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Last post and then I'm off to the islands for a month!

philanthropy (dot) com/article/Nonprofit-Chief-Executives-Who/134328/

That's a list of the highest paid non-profit CEO's in 2010...the Commish would have been #1 but they missed him!

Maybe there's an argument to be made that the overall impact of the Tour on charity, health care, greater than any of the individual organizations on that list (Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, American Cancer Society, NY Presby Hospital, etc) and as such the Commish deserves to be at the top of the list? Possibly there's some logic to that...

...but come on now, let's bring those Tour Officials in from the cold and let them share in the great rewards!!

(digger, those guys have press passes to worry about ;)
01.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I was off the grid for a few days and missed Del's fine research. Those pesky ol 990s can really get in the way of a good time.

digs - golf writers have too much to lose by snooping around the Golden Goose in Ponte Vedre, much like baseball writers back in the '90s, who knew those homers smelled fishy but held their nose and enjoyed the ride......
I see the hat is too small for his head. On second thought, maybe I should reverse that.

Nice work, DTF. Tim's current bank might be full. Better do some reasearch for him in the islands.
01.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
back nine on Sunday afternoon...and they all walk off....that would be awesome!
01.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Once again: Del, 990 MVP. Enjoy the islands.

Now, why is it that the "golf press" has been unable to report on any of this? Regulatory capture, so to speak? Undoubtedly.

As for the whole "executive compensation" racket, the inmates have been in charge of the asylum for 25-30 years, and this is the natural result. Compare "Engine Charlie" Wilson with Jack Welch and Jeffrey Immelt. Who was better for GE? For the country? And I'm willing to bet that Engine Charlie thought he was rich, too. When professional golf collapses of its own hypertrophy, Tim and his veeps will have long been set for life. Plus the members of the all-exempt 125-member dole. And they won't care. It's just business. As George Carlin put it, "This is a club and you ain't in it!"
01.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
No need for a contest, you win!

Agronomists are on site during tournaments, mostly the week prior and early in the week though increasingly they've stayed around for competition all to the benefit of the events. Still, they are working for the rules staff.
01.7.2013 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Dell & no longer-

Sure I'm aware of the line they walk, but they are aware of an obligation to report, should they be brought to the party.... and a question of why they did not if Matt Taibbi hangs his meathooks in to this.

I swear there was an ongoing IRS look at so facet of pro golf- and I thought it was the Tour.

I don't want to get too rowdy and find a dad fish in my mailbox, but damn, when I think of all the saps (sorry, sorry) who volunteer, while Tim makes 133 bucks a minute in his best year.

Think about THAT while you stand there gassing up your car for 3 or 4 minutes, and the 4 or 5 hundred bucks Tim made in that time.
Think about THAT when you go to volunteer.

I don'tknow what the per diem is for the official, but it HAS to be pretty good, or they would not be out their working for such salaries, nice money, but not for what they do, and the time away from home.
01.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Off to the islands! sheeit! Have fun!

Your friend, left behind.....snif ;(

01.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Thanks Geoff, wasn't exactly sure how things worked with agronomists nor the chain of command
01.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
They should change the name Ponte Vedra Beach to Fort Knox.
01.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
Geoff-agreed-the agronomy staff work hand in hand with the rules staff over here-and will stay to the end of the tournament week if there are issues.They also share the same office!
Euro Tour refs would love to be on the US Tour pay-scale by the way!
01.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchico
great work del by the way...
01.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Greed is bad.....
01.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Hey digger, maybe Garry "2 r's" Smits could run with it, he's right there by Tour headquarters isn't he? ;o)
01.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Del, looking forward to your ''last posts'' all month.
01.8.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Wow...DTF many thanks for the analysis/report.

Hmmm....looking at it from an objective viewpoint and it appears to be a giant laundromat for the ones "in the club" as Ky wisely pointed out....damn those are some bucks getting moved in and out a NON-profit (??!!!).

Yup, a final round walk-out (just when the leaders tee off) where the rules officials just walk to the beach, settle down and order a mai-tai would be great!!!

As for Rules officials themselves, I've been out of the loop for 15yrs, but I was cordial with Bruce Suds who was a Senior..err. Champions Tour official back in the days of Cadillac title sponsorship. He got about 100k/yr + all expenses + great per-diems AND a nice caddy to drive around in when he was back home to drive to and from his teaching gig and Gaston CC where he was emeritus pro. He seemed happy and he was great one day when Jerry McGee argued (unsuccessfully) for a drop WAY closer to green than Bruce said was OK...Bruce wouldn't budge .

"Oh but Bruce it was a HUGE snipe hook..."

"Yeah, I saw it Jerry, I was standing right here and watched it're not as long as you think you went in 30yds behind you"
01.8.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnycz
digger, didn't know they had wifi here ;)
01.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Awesome Del---

If it is not TMI,,, which ''islands'' are you attending to? HI, British, Channel, Pink Floyd@Holiday Inn, Thousand,Keys, or NOYB?

Inquiring minds should have more to do.
01.8.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth

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