Showdown between tours on horizon

The First Call readers view money — either to entice professionals to play the Saudi-backed Asian Tour or the cost amateurs have to pay to play — as among the top issues in 2022

Saudi International 2020
Patrick Reed tees off the 2020 Saudi International, which will attract a number of the world's best players to the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia, in 2022.

The PGA Tour vs. the Saudi Tour vs. the “Greg Norman” tour. Gonna be a doozy. 

Tom Powers
Bradenton, Fla.

The bifurcation on the PGA Tour due to the entry of the Saudi money grab.

Don Winterhalter
Scottsdale, Ariz.

The biggest problem for golf in 2022 is to maintain the increased interest in the sport that was generated during the pandemic. There are many facets to this desire just as there are many facets to golf — the game on the course, course maintenance, the game in a virtual world, those taking it seriously and those just out to have fun for a day or a night (e.g., Topgolf).

The big uptick seems to have been in those just wanting to be outside when social distancing was cool and necessary. To keep people coming out, golf needs to highlight convenience, price, comradeship without crowding, and fun. What that looks like will vary depending on whom you are trying to appeal. Simulators are an example of a way to maintain interest at a reasonable price, especially in colder-climate areas. They also are great practice items whose popularity is greatly increasing.

Bob Oram
Blaine, Wash.

Inflation. Are we pricing ourselves out of business? The cost of doing business has risen to a point that courses, club manufacturers, etc. cannot eat [the cost] anymore and are passing it on to the consumer.  When is enough enough?  

During this growth of the game, courses have been able to raise rates for a better bottom line. Tee times become scarce, further driving the price up. Be careful what you wish for,  

This pattern of growth can reverse just as fast as it gained traction.

Darrell Desgranges
Ionia, Mich.

The top issue facing golf in 2022 is the cost to play. Everything has gone up in price to prohibiting levels. In spite of efforts to attract members, the cost of green fees, clubs and balls have reached levels that only upper middle class can afford. 

P.T. Smith
Clermont, Fla.

The biggest issue the PGA Tour faces is slow play and not enforcing slow play rules like the LPGA.

Bob McMeans
Summerville, S.C.

I think the biggest issue is pace of play.

Fred Hubbard
Barnegat, N.J.

Putting the distance genie back in the bottle.

Roy Johnson
New Lenox, Ill. 

The First Call invites reader comment. Write to editor Stuart Hall at shall@morningread.com. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, The First Call will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.