Does the PGA need an All Star Weekend? YEP!
I sat and watched the MLB All-Star game and a thought ran through my mind, why couldn’t the PGA set something like this up for it’s best players?
I for one loved that the MLB went back to just making the game fun again. To have both sides battling for home field advantage in the World Series was a bad idea. Not a bad idea for the game itself as it gave the players something to play for but it was a bad idea in terms of it being “Fan Friendly” What we end up seeing is a game that was intended to be for the fans turn into just another regular game.
That’s what I think the PGA should do, put together an event for the fans to see the best golfers in the world compete in challenges and not just in terms of a 4 day tournament. Now I know the PGA players aren’t unionized and the director can’t mandate the players to show up for such an event but hell I bet most of these guys would love it. Now throw in a prize that the winners donate to a charity or something like that and I think it would be fantastic.
And yes I know the PGA does do a good job of featuring the guys during tournament weeks with Par 3 contests and.………..well that’s really all I can think of, feel free to educate me of any other things the PGA does that is fan friendly during tournament weeks that doesn’t include corporate sponsored meet and greets the the players don’t really want to be a part of.
Anyway here are some thoughts as to how to make such an event work:
First there has to be a selection process, obviously you’re asking the top 10 to be there it’d be hard to hold an All-star event and not have those guys there, then you move on to the the next 10 guys, if you can’t fill out the field with the top 20 guys then you go down the list finding potential participants until you fill it with at least 20 guys. Now for me there are at least 4 to 6 more spots you could fill, here is where fan participation comes in. Using the tried and true method of online voting that never, ever fails fans would vote for their favourites. Just ask former NHLer John Scott and his old boss NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. For those unfamiliar with the story Scott was a 2 minute a game NHLer who probably didn’t deserve to be an All-Star but ended up getting voted in by the fans, the rumour was the Bettman forced the owner of the team Scott was playing for to trade him to another team in another conference (he was) and he was immediately demoted to the minors. The plan backfired and Scott was voted as the All-Star game anyway and went on to win the MVP vote even though his name wasn’t even on the ballot, again it was the fans who did this.
I don’t think this would happen for a PGA event but you never know…..I could see fans voting in guys like Beef, Tiger (Who probably wouldn’t be there anyway) maybe even an old guy or two, how awesome would it be to see John Daly or Freddy Couples maybe ever Monty or the Walrus? And because of my Canadian roots, or more specifically the Saskatchewan ones I’d like to see Graham DeLeat there!
Now we move onto the format of the event. I see it as a one day event but I could be maybe two days depending on how you carry it out. I have a bracket sort of format in my mind, preforming challenges like the ones we’ve seen on The Big Break. Glass breaking, blind flop shots over 15 foot walls, hitting two balls as close to one another as possible, etc, etc….eventually determining a winner take all 3 hole championship match.
There is also a decathlon style game where we take all 24 golfers preforming the same type of challenges and gaining points for everyone eventually leading up to again a 3 hole matchup between the highest point getters.
Challenges I see in the completion:
Long drive of course (adjusted for average driving distance)
Closest to the pin, who wouldn’t want to see a couple hole in ones.
The elimination game (Competitors break glass pictures of their fellow golfers)
Flop shots over fences, you get closer and closer to the fence with every shot.
Hit two balls and try to get them as close to each other as possible.I don’t know, to be honest I’m starting to run out of ideas.
How about the first golfer to get the beer cart girls number
Bank shots off a rock wall behind a green.
Recover from a Van deVeldeian or Speith-like break down.
Other tough shots based on famous shots from tournaments, such as Speith’s shot out of the bunker to win the Traveler’s Championship, Tiger’s Masters Chip-in, Micheal Phelp’s 160 foot putt in a Pro-Am, recreating the water skip to the Masters Par 3 contest and the list goes on and on………come to think of it you could probably just base an event off these shots alone.
This event could work so well, partnered with the right corporate sponsor and TV network I’d love to see it come together. I know here in Canada TSN The Sports Network and Telus Communications set up The Skins game where they would usually bring in guys like Fred Couples, Mike Weir, Camillo Villegas and I’ve seen Colin Montgomery, Sergio Garcia and a whole lot more show up. There were different locations where it was held all across the country and it proved to be a fairly popular event to watch here in Canada. So what I am saying if you haven’t figured it out already is if a small event in Canada works well, how great would a large event with full North American coverage work? Personally I think it’d be awesome!
I hope the PGA could put something together for the fans and capitalize on the ever growing popularity of the sport.
This event should be all about the fans, well maybe not the ones that shout “Get in the hole!!!!” Or “Mashed potatoes!!!!!!” after every shot, those guys suck.
See you on the 19th
Cover Image via Flickr
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