Is there too much prizemoney in golf?

By Paul Gueorgieff
Editor, Golfer Pacific NZ

Rory McIlroy picked up $US2.25 million for his win in The Players’ Championship in the United States last month.

That equates to $3.27 million in New Zealand dollars.

Is that too much for one player?

There is no question that it is a tremendous amount of money. Should the winner of a golf tournament be given so much?

The Players’ Championship is the world’s richest golf tournament. It carried a purse of $US12.5 million and the two golfers who finished equal last in the field of 73 both earned $US24,375 each.

Even that figure of $US24,375 is, in my mind, a lot of money.

But is it too much money?

My answer is if the game can afford it, that’s fine.

I would also suggest that such huge amounts of money is a reflection that the game of golf is in great heart.

Golf tournaments gain most of their income from sponsorship and television rights. Sponsors will only give up large amounts of money if they feel they are getting good exposure of their name.

Television companies will only pay large amounts of money to cover a tournament if they feel they will get a large audience. You can be assured television companies will have done their homework on viewing statistics.

That means lots of people are keen to watch golf and that means golf is popular on a world scale.

I am also happy with the likes of McIlroy earning $US2.2.5 million. He is one of the best players in the world and that is no mean feat.

There are literally tens of thousands golfers in the world who are great players. But there are only several dozen who make it to McIlroy’s level.

I often refer to the practice range at a good tournament as the ablutions’ block. You look down the range and it appears all are flushing it.

But when they step out onto the golf course some seem to develop a dose of diarrhoea.

McIlory has been a world-class player for a few years but he doesn’t need to look far over his shoulder to understand that behind him there is a mammoth pack of golfers trying to overtake him.

One of those players could be the promising, young player at your club.