Alex Miceli has beat them to it with this for the MorningRead.com, only, sadly, he actually sees a distance rollback imploding the entire business model of golf.
Is limiting distance by rolling back the ball or any other method worth putting the millions of dollars in charitable contributions in jeopardy? An argument, which Bjorn was making, could force golf’s manufacturers out of supporting professional and amateur golf, leaving little or no backing.
That’s right, they could put their money into cricketers. Or Federer!
Most amateurs would be uninterested in giving up distance, so equipment manufacturers likely would limit their TV, digital and print advertising if Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and the game’s most visible stars would be forced to play other, inferior equipment.
A loss of that advertising, promotion and support by the equipment companies ultimately would challenge the PGA Tour’s system of rights fees by the TV networks and cable outlets as a large part of the advertising inventory would be available if the equipment manufacturers were to flee.
80% of a PGA Tour event ad inventory is purchased by the event sponsors. The other 20% props the whole things up? Interesting theory!
If golf lost those advertisers, it would be difficult to fill the void, forcing the cost of advertising inventory down and ultimately pushing rights fees lower.
With the PGA Tour and its tournaments responsible for $180 million in charitable contributions in 2017 alone, is it conceivable to put such largess in peril?
How on earth did golf’s participation levels peak when we were hitting persimmons and steel? Shoot, how did the planet earth survive that dark time when 280 yards led the tour in driving distance. It’s minor miracle.
The notion that pro golf exists as a means to move golf equipment product would not portend well if true. Mercifully, at least as of now, people still watch to be entertained, not to be told what to buy. They have the Home Shopping Network for that.