[PHOTO: James Gilbert]
The PGA Tour’s sponsors and tournament directors in host cities are more challenged than ever in trying to balance a ledger that includes skyrocketing purses, enhancing fan experiences and making contributions to charities. In recent years, some tournament directors have considered saving money by cutting back on player amenities, including providing courtesy cars.
Forget about that now, because the PGA Tour is making more asks, not fewer, of the individual tournaments in providing amenities to the players and their weekly entourages.
The Sports Business Journal first reported the existence of a memo sent to tournament directors on November 10 in which Eric Baldwin, the tour’s vice-president of tournament business operations and fan engagement, laid out a number of required changes and additions that tournaments are expected to make in the 2024 season.
One tournament director told the Sports Business Journal that they had “never seen anything close to this and to this extreme and never as an edict. It is always ‘we recommend you try this’.”
The Sports Business Journal said the tour did not comment for the story.
The requirements are:
• All tournaments now must provide complimentary courtesy cars during the week.
• Tournaments will have amenities for players’ families on the course, including a private restroom on each nine, with flushable toilets, water and dry snacks. Additionally, four restroom stations on each nine will be provided for the players.
• Cold plunge tubs, which have become popular among the players, will be provided by the tour, with tournament directors needing to find a place to put them and keep them maintained during the week.
• The memo states that tour players are focused on their nutrition and wellness, and that the tour is “encouraging” events to re-evaluate the meals that players and their families are receiving in player dining.
The enhancements get nicer for the tour’s Signature and Playoff events. Among the requirements for those tournaments are reserved parking for the players’ families, managers and coaches; organic food options; complimentary dry cleaning for players and caddies; and free picture yardage books.