Just a few weeks ago, the FedExCup’s $15 million first prize reached a level of excess that appeared to not resonate with fans as expected.
The original Skins Game, a really important event for many years as a the dreaded “grow the game” staple, but also simply as good entertainment. Don’t forget, in the 1984 Skins, Jack Nicklaus made a putt for $240,000 and threw his putter to the sky.
“Even old unemotional Jack got excited,” a smiling Nicklaus said. “I threw my putter high in the air because . . . well, it was exciting.”
While purse strength is rarely of interest to fans, dollar figures are vital in Skins because the amounts can add up. That builds tension and the entire point of Skins is to have carry overs and big putts for big dollars. The format also ends up having players take different rooting interests in the name of friendly competition.
In other words, Skins is dependent on a purse that gets the attention of players. This is no easy task in today’s game and likely why the annual Thanksgiving weekend event stopped attracting top stars.
So it was a little strange to read that the first real stab at Skins from “GolfTV Powered By The PGA Tour” will feature a lower purse than the 1983 Skins Game. Given that the “golf Netflix” international streaming channel has committed to a multi-billion investment in distributing the PGA Tour internationally, the Tiger-Rory-Jason-Hideki launch event is their first high profile property in eight countries. Playing for $350,000 over 18 holes is modest, at best. With the last hole worth $100,000, that leaves only $10,000 per hole for the first six.
A $360,000 purse—the first Skins bankroll-is just under $1 million in 2019 dollars.
Not surprisingly, the paltry purse went unmentioned in Golftv Powered By The PGA Tour’s press release and was only reported on by AP’s Doug Ferguson.
FYI, last place at this year’s Tour Championship was $395,000.
Furthermore, the head man at Discovery, purveyor of GOLFTV Powered By The PGA Tour, enjoyed a compensation package valued at $129.4 million in 2017. That means David Zaslav made more per-day in 2018 than the four players will compete for in this new Skins.
Zaslav’s 2017 compensation totaled $42.4 million in cash and stock options, meaning his pay every three days is the same amount as GOLFTV Powered By The PGA Tour’s initial Skins Game purse.
Tiger is there as part of his GOLFTV Powered By The PGA Tour deal. The other players are undoubtedly earning some nice appearance money, but GOLFTV Powered by the PGA Tour will not be televising movement of that money from their coffers to the players. Nor do we tune in to watch a wire transfer.
When it’s a Skins Game, we want to see them facing putts that prompt putter tosses and excitement.
This post first appeared on GeoffShackelford.com, With GolfDigest.com - A Blog Devoted To The State Of Golf., please read the originial post: here