It’s hard to get past the above quote from PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan made in a 2019 Sentry TOC media session and reported here by Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge.
The Commissioner’s views on distance are no secret: he wants to hype younger and longer players because he believes that’s why people watch the game despite all of the grandstands being at greens and not tee boxes.
You can take your pick of reasons for a short-sighted stance that even his youth-obsessed predecessor never went so far overboard to make. But more alarming is the view that the sport is growing and thriving, so why change a thing?
“We’re gonna be a party to all these discussions,” Monahan said. “We’re going to understand everybody’s perspectives as the USGA and R&A move forward with their Distance Insights project, but it’s hard to argue you should be changing anything right now because the sport is growing and thriving.”
If it’s growing and thriving, why do we have all of these expensive grow the game initiatives to jumpstart participation?
Why is the golf course industry fearful of a recession and a new tax code eliminating entertainment deductions if the game is thriving?
There is also the PGA Tour as a product. He should be hoping for a variety of players and a variety of playing styles to make the game thrive, not a one-dimensional power game. No sport that’s gone all in on technology and power has come out better. As a fan of sports, Monahan should know this. And he should know better.