The PGA Tour has created a $US40 million bonus pool for players who boost publicity and engagement, according to a Golfweek report.
Called the “Player Impact Program”, the pool appears to be a response to some of the incentives of the Premier Golf League, a proposed tour that would compete with the PGA Tour for top players. While the PGL has hit several snags – such as Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm turning down offers and a proposed venture with the European Tour falling apart when the European Tour instead choose an alliance with the PGA Tour – the PGL had exposed loopholes in the PGA Tour’s framework. Chiefly, that the rival circuit promised golf’s elite bigger paydays than available on the PGA Tour. And even though McIlroy has reiterated he wanted no part of the PGL, he also hedged his bets.
“For me, I’m out. My position is I’m against it until there may come a day where I can’t be against. If everyone else goes, I might not have a choice,” McIlroy said at the 2020 WGC–Mexico Championship. “But at this point, I don’t like what [the PGL is] proposing.”
As the Golfweek report entails, the Player Impact Program compensates individuals outside weekly tournament purses, rewarding them for drawing eyes and attention to the tour product.
The $40 million will be distributed to just 10 players. These players will be chosen through an “impact score”, a number fuelled by six factors. According to Golfweek those factors are a player’s standing in the FedEx Cup, popularity in Google search, Q Rating, Nielsen Brand Rating (a metric that judges how a player delivers to sponsors based on their exposure), Meltwater Mentions (the frequency of player coverage across a number of media platforms) and MVP Index (value of engagement on social and digital channels). The player who is considered the most valuable will receive $US8 million at the end of the year, with the program having begun in January.
Some of the players expected to benefit are McIlroy, Jordan Spieth (whose father, Shawn, founded the company that created MVP Index), Bryson DeChambeau, and – despite being sidelined with injury this season – Tiger Woods.
As of writing the PGA Tour has not responded to a request for comment.