The other day I was out browsing some golf related web sites and I came across an article written by "Anonymous Pro" on http://www.golf.com/. The subject of the article was in regards to a new PGA Tour policy that will go into effect next year...and it wasn't about the new groove policy either. According to the post, players were emailed details about a new policy that will require players to "schmooze" at corporate sponsor events even if they don't play in the Pro-Am.
The "Anonymous Pro" response? "...that's a nightmare. I can tell you that every player would rather endure a five- or six-hour pro-am round than put on a happy face and hang out at a two-hour dinner."
And it gets better. Because this will affect the lower ranked players who play more tournaments than the Tiger's and Phil's, "...they'll make more tent visits than a scoutmaster. They'll be burned out by June. For the first time in history guys will be begging to play in the pro-am. One sponsor dinner is O.K., but two dozen of them? Not so good. If you finish 90th on the money list, you make a lot of cash, but that doesn't mean you want to be a Tour puppet every Wednesday."
I try to be a compassionate person. I believe in the whole "put yourself in another person's golf shoes" theory before making assumptions. But I'm going to be honest here...if this guy is looking for sympathy from anyone other than other "tour guys" because he's got to schmooze 90 minutes a week with corporate muckity-mucks (who sign his potential PAYCHECK) I think he's about to hear crickets.
I'm still baffled that this person decided to post it on a golf web site that is geared towards the general golf public. While it's probably true that most of us don't have a clue as to what it's like to be a "journeyman" golf pro who is grinding week after week trying to make a paycheck to support his family and his career, what I think is true is that if many of us could, we'd trade places in a heartbeat (inheriting the talent, too, of course!) - bring on the Schmoozing!!
The thing that bothers me about the article is the sense of ungratefulness I get from it...I just can't stop thinking... Really? You're going to complain about 90 minutes a week of having to be nice to people who are probably thrilled to get the chance to talk to a PGA tour golf pro? These businesses are investing literally millions of dollars into these golf events so that "Anonymous Pro" can earn a living playing golf. Let me say that again...this guy gets to earn a living ...playing golf! And now he wants us to feel for him because less than 2 hours out of his week may include a free buffet, free drinks, and talking about golf? Can somebody help me understand this?
Maybe it's because I'm being forced to say good-bye to my golf season right now that I have gotten all worked up about this article. Maybe it's because I have friends and relatives who have become victims of this economy and are struggling to support their families and pay their bills that the idea of being "forced" to spend some time with folks who are willing to invest in golf sounds so petty...and well, ungrateful.
The PGA Tour (and all tours for that matter) are doing whatever they can to keep sponsors willing to provide a workplace for golf professionals to make money...if golf can't prove this is a worthy investment, companies can and will take their money someplace else...90 minutes of schmooze time seems like a no-brainer if it means that a multi-million dollar purse available for the taking.
I dug deep to try to find some sympathy, but I just couldn't do it. ..in fact, it boggles my mind that each and every tour player wouldn't want to go and thank these sponsors for the chance to be able live the dream that thousands of us carry with us every time we watch a professional golf tournament.
As I like to say to some of my curling teammates...MAN UP - and be thankful you get to play golf for a living. And if you don't want to schmooze, stop complaining, practice more, and move up in the rankings!
You can read the entire article here: http://www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/article/0,28136,1929880,00.html
Filed under: sponsor, corporate, schmooze, PGA Tour, Anonymous Pro, thankful, 2010, Policy