|How much better for fans would it be if the PGA Tour decided it's player of the year via a long-driving battle royale? (Courtesy Dan Boever)|
When Tim Finchem cooked up the idea for the FedEx Cup, he never could have imagined the public outcry that would come with it. Yes, the PGA Tour's grand golf playoff scheme has captured the public's imagination with the same intensity as a solar eclipse - people are staring at an image in a little box and are wondering what in the hell it is they're looking at.
It's safe to say the FedEx Cup is not off to the greatest start. Thus far, the comments on the great scheme have been fairly consistent, and have included lots of people murmuring things like "Errr?" and "Ummmm?" So, at very least, Finchem has people curious. That they are mostly curious about what the FedEx Cup actually is may be a problem, but make no mistake, questions are being asked.
It can't be an easy time for Finchem as he tries mightily to make the end of the PGA Tour season into something breathtakingly spectacular, yet is only succeeding in making in confusing and somewhat stupid. but don't expect this slow start to keep the PGA Tour commissioner from keeping up the good fight. In fact, we fully expect Finchem to continue to tweak this playoff system. And being that we're the helpful sort, we have some ideas he might consider running up the flagpole.
Here's the idea. At the end of the season, gather everyone who has played in any PGA Tour event, and put them on, say, the 17th hole of the TPC of Sawgrass. Island holes are always fun. Then, what you do is have it be like a playoff following any other event. Everybody takes their cuts, low man is out. Repeat. Over and over again, until you finally have a winner.
Sure, this could be a long process, but true diehards would watch every last shot, even if the playoff took weeks. It would be the ultimate sudden death playoff, provided you don't mind taking wild liberties with the word "sudden." And here's an idea for a sponsor - Energizer. That's right, because this playoff would keep going and going. Eventually, however, someone would win. And at very least, everyone would understand why.
Sponsor suggestion: Energizer
Now this would get fan attention and lots of interest. Sure it's against everything that golf is really about, but it doesn't really seem like Finchem cares about that much, anyway. Plus, guess who immediately becomes a contender to be the Player of the Year - John Daly. Yes, making the playoffs a long-driving competition would be the best thing to happen to Daly since the renewed popularity of penny slots.
Sponsor suggestion: Schlitz.
When Bill Murray was busted for toddling down the road blasted in a golf buggy, he wasn't just being the irrepressible eternal-teen we've grown to know and love - he was being a golf innovator.
You see, if it's true that Finchem was hoping the FedEx Cup would mirror NASCAR's stupid playoff system, what better way to do it than involve actual racing. Perhaps the could combine it with the long-driving competition. You know, tee up and smack a drive, then hop in the cart and blast around a track. We could get the guys from Mythbusters involved to juice up the carts and really bust ratings through the roof.
Sponsor suggestion: Stockholm Police Department
Folks have been working for a while now to take the amazing popularity of poker, and infuse it into golf. Well, here's a way to do just that. First, have a golf tournament. The top-10 players all get playing cards based on their finish - the winner gets 10, second place nine, etc.
Then, everyone lights up cigars, puts on sunglasses and heads to the poker table for one hand of winner-take-all poker. Better yet, they have to play with their own money. Once again, the PGA Tour would be able to remove actual golf competition from the equation, but you still would pretty much end up with Tiger Woods winning the whole thing, as long as he was in the top-10, because he could just outbid everyone into submission. So maybe this one isn't such a good idea, because I think the idea is that Tiger isn't supposed to win. Or he's supposed to play more. Or something.
Sponsor suggestion: San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.
These are just some ideas to get the ball rolling, as it were. Each have their pros and cons, but that's not important. What is important is that the PGA Tour do something - that much is clear. Because the simple fact that they've allowed this monstrosity known as the FedEx Cup get the green light means that they're willing to do anything as long as it's not the status quo, and as long as some sponsor can be duped into paying for it all.
September 4, 2007
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
I've been slumming it out on cheap public courses my entire life. At one point, aren't I entitled as a lifelong golfer to finally enjoy the fruits of my suffering on a well conditioned, thoughtfully designed private course from one of the game's premier architects?
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