12 Key Questions for 2017

Mike Wilson starts his new column Bunker Mentality by looking into its crystal ball and asks a dozen intriguing questions facing the game of golf

9.  Would Someone Please Put the IFGPGAT Out of Its Misery?

This question has been asked more than once by this correspondent; exactly what purpose does the International Federation of PGA Tours fulfil?

Since it was founded back in 1996, with the less-than-lofty aspiration of, “Joint sanctioning by the members of the International Federation of PGA Tours of significant competitions, including some at the world championship level for the game's top players,” the organisation, which lives cheek-by-jowl with the PGA Tour – in fact it shares the same address and ZIP code as the world’s dominant circuit – has overseen chaos and anarchy in the development of the professional game.

The Articles of Association of the Federation, which incidentally saw the Asian Tour and the LPGA Tour join the party along with politically expedient organisations such as the China Golf Association and the Korean PGA, are ‘Private & Confidential,’ has proved little more than a fig-leaf ensuring that the interests of its landlords, the PGA Tour come first and foremost.

With global golf growing exponentially around the turn of the new Millennium, fuelled by the high-octane arrival of Tiger Woods, one might have thought that the Federation might have been charged with bringing some order to proceedings and ensuring fair-shares all round for its stakeholders.

Fat chance.

Of the 61 WGC events staged to date, only 14 have been played outside the USA, eight of those by necessity courtesy of HSBC’s commitment to China, whilst Australia has hosted one, Europe five, Japan and South Africa, both founder members, none, Asia, the same round number.

Now, notwithstanding the construction of President Trump’s, “Big, beautiful wall,” between the USA and Mexico, another sitting PGA Tour tenant at Ponte Vedra Beach, the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has secured the hosting rights to the fourth WGC event, formerly known as the Cadillac Championship.

Meanwhile, if anyone can explain to me the sense, the logic and the morality of the PGA Tour waltzing into Japan, Korea and, with the Asian Tour, into Malaysia, or the European Tour, the ink on the latest EurAsia Alliance barely dry, marching into China for the Volvo China Open and the Shenzhen International, the former with the beleaguered OneAsia, the latter without because for reasons yet to be fully explained, the Asian Tour is persona non grata in the PRC, I’d be grateful for the insight.

Without the semblance of a strategy, with just a single meeting each year, without one women’s WGC event even on the furthest horizon and with Japan, the rest of Asia and South Africa all apparently excluded, could someone please do what they do to sick animals that have no quality of or purpose in life and put the lame, inept, incompetent and inefficient Federation out of its misery?


Click here to see the published article.