The call for less golf? I’ve never quite understood it, especially when it comes from those who make a living in and around the game. For years I’ve heard colleagues in the golf industry demand to have a PGA Tour schedule with fewer tournaments or an offseason that runs longer than currently constructed.
Now the world’s top ranked player is jumping on the idea that less golf equals more enjoyment.
"I get so many playing opportunities, there are so many tournaments and there might be an over saturation in golf in a way,” Rory McIlroy said Wednesday.
The always revealing world No. 1 was speaking to reporters at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational when he was asked about the new Premier Golf League and the changes it could prompt on the PGA Tour. The new league has proposed fewer events, smaller fields and no cuts to the top players in the world. McIlroy has publicly said he is “out” when it comes to joining the PGL, but hinted that there are PGA Tour changes he’d favor.
"I don't want to come across as elitist, but I think some smaller fields, maybe a few more events with no cuts," McIlroy said.
“You look at the NFL and they play 16 games a year, 20 games a year max and people want it all the time. I know football is different to golf and all that, but I think being a golf fan these days can get quite exhausting following so many different tournaments, different Tours, all that stuff."
Fewer full field events would likely not be received well by the rank and file PGA Tour pros, who rely on playing 25-30 tournaments per season to secure their income and tour cards. The idea of fewer events as a whole would equal less revenue for the PGA Tour, which you’d assume would be quickly shot down by the powers that be in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. We’ve seen how the fewer games conversation has worked out between the NFL and NFLPA. A deal breaker. Nevertheless, McIlroy believes it’s an idea that could use some flushing out.
"Maybe making it a little, sort of streamline it a bit might be a good way, a good place to start a conversation.”