When Billy Payne speaks people listen! So when Tim Geary writes a column suggesting that women’s golf needs a Masters, readers should grab a vomit bag!
Tim Geary is the Rodney Dangerfield of golf writing. He “gets no respect” mainly because he spends 10 minutes each month typing trash, trying to be politically correct and otherwise sounding like an idiot. Trust me, if you meet him in-person, he’s a jerk!
I tolerate a featherweight like Geary because he’s been my human punching bag for seven years. Like the Eveready bunny he takes the hits and keeps on ticking, and, his golf gibberish actually makes my stuff look good! He thinks women’s professional golf should have a Masters Golf tournament. Have you ever heard of such a bizarre idea?
After Jordan Spieth won the Masters on April 14, this idea popped up from Paula Creamer, one of the most prominent figures in American women’s golf, when she tweeted “I hope The Masters will consider a Women’s Masters soon. They do so much to grow the game. Fastest area of golf growth is women! #6 majors?”
Masters chairman Billy Payne promptly responded, “I don’t think so. I believe I had that question last year, or the year before. We have a very short member season at Augusta National. It’s only seven months. The time that we dedicate to the preparation and conduct of the tournament is already extensive. I don’t think that we would ever host another tournament.”
Over the past decade women’s professional golf has been on a slippery slope and already has five majors. The LPGA Tour needs more than another major or a female Masters Tournament to turn it around. What the LPGA needs is for more American women like Paula Creamer (10), Lexi Thompson (5), Michelle Wie (4), Christie Kerr (17), Stacey Lewis (11) and Morgan Pressel (2) to win more. Combined this group of US players has a total of 49 career wins. After 22 events on the 2015 LPGA Tour, Korean’s have won 13 times and US ladies have only 3 wins.
The message to US female players is to get a better game because foreigners, especially Korean women, are dominating the sport, and a women’s Masters Golf tournament is not going to change that fact.
You may have noticed that through the years The Masters has not changed its hugely successful and lucrative formula, so why bother with an LPGA event? According to Golf Digest, The Masters will generate about $115 million in revenue this year, more than a five-fold increase from the $22 million from 1997. And the profit to the club could be $30 million, up from $7 million from 1997.
As with everything done at Augusta National, the club has grown its revenue with patience and discipline and has never lost sight of the mission that the enjoyment of the player and the patron is the top priority. From its beginning in 1934, the focus of the tournament has been to provide the best experience possible for the players and spectators. From the absence of corporate logos to limiting the number of people inside the ropes (40,000), The Masters is the last major sporting event where the emphasis is solely on the game. That means that IBM, AT & T and Mercedes-Benz pay about $6 million each in exchange for four minutes of advertising per hour, or about one-third of the commercial interruptions of other sporting events.
I believe Billy Payne when he says the LPGA will never host an event at Augusta National. Paula Creamer and Tim Geary are dreaming since there are two types of people on the commercial side of golf. Those who do business with Augusta National and The Masters, and those who want to do business with the most valuable, lucrative and ultra-private property in the game!
(Tom Gorman is a dreamer thinking that he will someday play 18 holes at Augusta National.)WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?