I'm Not Sure What Is Worse...
...the fact that there is still a buzz around how the FedEx Cup should be restructured, or the fact that the PGA is thinking about fining players for slow play?
Easily two of the hottest topic this golf season, it seems as though nobody in golf can talk about anything else. To be frank, I think this has everything to do with how unexciting most of the tournaments have been this season (with the exception of the British Open and PGA Championship) and how golf someone wants to "fix" everything.
In terms of fining players for slow play, the Associated Press issued this statement:
"According to the [PGA] player handbook, anyone put on the clock 10 times for a $20,000 fine will face double the amount -- $40,000 -- if he gets put on the clock 10 times the following year.
And after that, the amount continues to double. If a player is timed on 10 occasions a third straight year, the fine goes to $80,000" (ESPN.com, 2009).
First of all, does anyone really know how many times a player is put on the clock in one season (other than that player, of course)? Furthermore, does slow play really affect the play of other professional golfers? These guys are playing for thousands (and in some cases, MILLIONS) of dollars every week. Can anyone blame them for maybe wanting to take a few extra seconds to hit an approach shot around a tree and over a lake?
Earlier this season, we saw how Paddy Harrington basically lost a golf tournament to Tiger Woods after being put on the clock by tournament officials for slow play. While I still believe that this was merely a coincidence, some can argue that he act of putting Paddy on the clock did more harm than good... so what was actually accomplished here?
Increasing fines for PGA players for slow play is not the answer here. What would happen if this "repeat offender" just so happens to be at the bottom of the season money list? Does the PGA think he will be able to afford an $80,000 fine?
I thought the purpose of a professional sport association was to encourage more participants and world-class athletes to join... not push them away.