Questions For The Commissioner

image_4607670.jpgWednesday of Tour Championship week means it's time for Tim Finchem's annual "state of the PGA Tour" press conference. This is where he says how wonderful things are, even when the two stars that he looked to for FedEx Cup have passed on four rounds at boring East Lake and the Coca-Cola people are really, really grouchy.

As usual, I'd like to offer a few questions for the lucky scribblers working this week. And naturally, your questions posted in the comments section are welcome too. I suspect they'll be better than mine. Anyhow, here goes:

  • Commissioner, do you consider PGA Tour players to be role models even though it now regularly takes them 5 hours to finish a weekday round? (I like to warm him up with something benign.)
  • As a follow up, do you foresee any initiatives that would improve pace of play, which is undermining fan enjoyment of the sport (and scaring off the 18-34 y.o.'s!).
  • Was your recent $28 million contract extension endorsed and voted on by the player portion of the PGA Tour policy board?
  • At the 2003 Tour Championship you talked about the ShotLink initiative and its usefulness for USGA distance analysis. The USGA has issued an initial report to manufacturers suggesting that U-grooves are de-skilling the game at the highest level. Does the Tour share a concern that U-grooves are dramatically changing the game?
  • In 2003 you told the Palm Beach Post that "there is some point -- nobody knows where it is -- when the amateur player feels divorced and really doesn't appreciate the game at this level, just because it's so different that it doesn't become particularly relevan. The second thing is, if everybody is driving every par 4, it's not particularly interesting to watch."  

    Does the PGA Tour do market research that asks fans if they feel divorced from the professional game? And if so, what kind of feedback have you gotten?

  • There were reports last week that the PAC boards were presented with the concept of an elimination process in the FedEx Cup "playoffs" so that they are like, you know, like real playoffs.  Is this in reaction to the lukewarm reception that the FedEx Cup has received?
  • And with apologies to Colbert...Mark Foley. Great Congressman from Florida who you are glad you never gave money to like Greg Norman did, or, the greatest Congressman from Florida who you are glad you never gave money to like Greg Norman did?

Okay, that's enough.