Don't miss Randell Mell's GolfChannel.com piece featuring Hollis Stacy's vitriolic take on the current players for ousting her pal Carolyn Bivens. Mell reports that Stacy flew to the the Women's Open from Denver to try and talk players out of their decision.
“This is a big, big mistake,” Stacy said. “Unfortunately, these players are naive, and they’re wrong. They need to be called out.”
Stacy believes the new business model Bivens created is smart and valuable and would build the tour a stronger financial future, even with Bivens struggling to renew sponsors and find new ones.
“In the nine hours it took me to fly here, I’ve gone through the whole spectrum of emotions, from being really upset to being bewildered and then sad, and finally to thinking, `Are these kids stupid?’” Stacy said. “It breaks my heart.”
Gee I'm sure they were really receptive to your message with that attitude!
You're stupid! I'm calling you out!
I think I know why Bivens and Stacy are friends.
Still, Stacy, a business consultant and friend to Bivens, says the tour has already gone from barely covering its operational costs to a profitable business, even in these difficult financial times. She blames the sponsorship issues solely on the economy.
“I lived on the tour for 26 years, and we were always struggling,” Stacy said. “Carolyn wasn’t hired to be liked. She was hired to build the brand and make money and she’s doing that. She’s building the brand globally.
“If these players today want to go back to being the red-headed step child, and getting kicked around by the PGA Tour, just getting the scraps, and not having a pension, then, yeah, buy out Carolyn. But it’s a big, big mistake. I don’t think these players understand we’ve had former players die near poverty.
“I’m behind Carolyn. She’s tough. She’s had to be tough. Women have been taken advantage of for years.
“People who work for me, I don’t want them playing nice. I want them representing the best interests of the players.”
Unfortunately, women being taken advantage of is not what this is about.
For all of Bivens' dreams--many of which were quite noble--playing opportunities remain the most important thing for a professional golfer. Not the brand, not the health care, not the Oscars, not the pension and not interacting with fans.
Male or female, old geezer or teenager, they want to play golf. And Bivens' stubbornness was positioning them to play a whole lot less.
In other Bivens news, Paul Rogers filed this thoughtful analysis just before news broke of her resignation yesterday. Well until he quotes me. Alan Shipnuck says it came down to hubris but does think there was "inherent sexism" may have played a role in her downfall.