Imagine being PAID to PLAY two terrible rounds of golf, missing the cut and still walking away with $3M.
Imagine being PAID to PLAY brand spanking new Nike clubs for $250M, and after only 18 holes giving up on them and switching back to a competitor's brand.
Now imagine you are trying to play on the mini tours in the US, living out of your car, flipping burgers to make enough money to PAY to PLAY a tournament where the winnings won't pay the rent.
Something just doesn't seem right. People used to say that golf was a more financially-fair sport compared to hockey, football, baseball and basketball, because if you didn't play well, you didn't get paid. Obviously Tiger and Rory don't live by the same "no play, no pay" rules as normal tour players.
Now, I'm not saying they don't deserve the money they make. Golf is a business and equipment manufacturers and tournament sponsors can invest their money any way they like. But you'd think that there would be more clauses in these contracts to ensure that they get their money's worth.
Golfers have a long history for "giving back" so I think Rory and Tiger should return half the money. They didn't perform well enough to play 4 days, so they should only get paid for 2.
In fact, what I'd love to see them do is donate half the money to those who really need it - the struggling mini-tour men and women who have talent, but not the resources and support to take their game to the level needed to compete for the big money.
I've often thought that if I didn't have to work for a living, I would like to run a Crowdfunding Foundation for golfers who aren't born with a platinum putter in their piggies.
I know of a number of foundations in the UK and a Trust Fund in BC, but what about the US?
There are a ton of pro golfers trying to raise money for their dream career. Donations trickle in for some, but it's still only pennies and it's not leveraged. A foundation could use social media and micro donations to grow a fund for the collective and loan it to "qualifying" players for their "Big Break".
Imagine if the foundation was also supported by those in the business of golf. What if the Golf Channel/NBC, equipment manufacturers and successful tour players PAID so new pros could PLAY.
The more I think about it, the more I think it could work. I would call it the Big Break Golf Foundation. Has a nice ring to it don't you think? :)
Image of player with female caddy © Chris Van Lennep | Dreamstime.com