Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New PGA Tour commissioner looking for broader audience

KAPALUA, Hawaii — A week into his job as the fourth PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan is looking to broaden golf's appeal.

Whether that means a new schedule is too early to tell.

Monahan said Saturday he was awake from 2 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. thinking about various challenges facing golf, though that was more a product of jet lag after getting to Hawaii for the PGA Tour's opening two events of the year.

He took over Jan. 1 for Tim Finchem, who oversaw two decades of international growth and exponential increases in prize money during a generation driven by Tiger Woods. The tour already is working on new television deals that expire in 2021, along with renewing the title sponsorship of the FedEx Cup that ends this year.

What got his attention, however, was a trip to Silicon Valley last summer to meet with executives of Google, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube and Apple.

"As much progress as we've made with our platforms, we weren't moving fast enough. We're not producing enough video content," Monahan said. "Our players are their own networks and have their own profiles. We had — and I'll take full responsibility for this — a tendency to think about what we didn't want to have happen at our tournaments. … We're taking away from our ability to grow."

He cited restrictions on players using smartphones during pro-ams as one example.

As for the schedule, the PGA Tour has been exploring whether it can end its season at the Tour Championship before the NFL season starts in September. A simple plan on paper, there are so many moving parts that Monahan said it is so early in the process that the tour hasn't even decided what it would do.

Whatever happens, he indicated that the tour would try to stay at the same number of events.

He also made it clear that the tour wants to start the new year in Hawaii. The Tournament of Champions at Kapalua has been the first event of the year since 1999, followed by the Sony Open in Honolulu.

"I expect to be doing this with you for a long time to come — this week, and then next week," Monahan said. "We've been here for 50 years. I think it's part of the fabric and part of the core of who we are as an organization. It's an important part of our season and we'll do everything we can to be here."

On other topics:

• Monahan said he thought it was "awesome" to have a golf-loving president, and he called President-elect Donald Trump "probably the best golfer to ever sit in office, and certainly the most golf knowledgeable." He said the tour left Trump National Doral because it couldn't find a sponsor — "That's on us," he said — but that the tour wants to be ready to have a tournament in Miami if a spot becomes open.

• The FedEx Cup sponsorship began in 2007, providing $35 million in bonus money at the end of the year and $10 million to the winner. The deal expires after this year. Monahan said he was at FedEx headquarters in Memphis just before Christmas. "I would just say that we have more work to do, but we're very hopeful," he said of negotiations.

• The PGA Tour is the only major sports group that doesn't announce fines or other punishment. That doesn't sound as if it will change. "I know that there is a desire to know everything that happened but … we're a family. If there is an issue in your family, you deal with it, and you deal with it with your family member," he said. "That has worked really well for us. If it weren't, we'd be making changes."

New PGA Tour commissioner looking for broader audience 01/08/17 [Last modified: Saturday, January 7, 2017 11:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  2. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  3. Bucs journal: LB Kwon Alexander ready to return from injury

    Bucs

    TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander, sidelined by a hamstring injury since the second quarter of the Bucs' season opener against Chicago, will finally make a healthy return Sunday against the Bills.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander needs “to get my stats back up” after being out since the opener.
  4. A rare treat Saturday for Rowdies: a home playoff game

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rowdies fans, set to be rewarded with their first home playoff match in five years, can also take a little credit for it.

    From left, Georgi Hristov, Joe Cole and Marcel Schafer are among the Rowdies’ top scorers.
  5. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times