How can and should the LPGA cash in?

mulligan, 16 October 2006, Comments Off on How can and should the LPGA cash in?
Categories: Uncategorized

Reflecting on the state of the PGA and the LPGA these days, I am wondering whether and how professional women golfers can come together to take their game to new heights.

The men’s game, especially in the US, seems to be in an ugly place. Consider your own feelings about men’s professional golf after (1) another ugly US loss in the Ryder Cup, (2) Phil’s decline following his US Open collapse, (3) the strguggles of the non-Tiger “Big Five,” and (4) the lack of intriguing young American talent. Of course, Tiger will always draw a crowd (in person and on TV), but he needs some serious competition for anyone to really care.

Meanwhile, as documented at the Samsung Championship, Annika’s status as the female Tiger is being challenged now by the young Mexican superstar Lorena Ochoa. And, other young guns like Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis, Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer have all elevated the Q-rating for women’s golf even without a steady record of success.

In short, this is a unique and uniquely important moment for women’s golf and the LPGA (which always seems to be struggling financially). I think the LPGA ought to be thinking “outside the box” to generate lots of excitement over women’s golf during the next 3-6 months (when the men’s game is essentially on hiatus).

For example, how about the LPGA challenging the PGA to a male v. female Ryder Cup event?

Here is the basic idea: add Karrie Webb, Christie Kerr, Brittney Lincicome, and Julie Insker to the list above to make a team of 10 superstar LPGA players, and then challenge the PGA to put up 10 men to take on this group. Set up a course in Hawaii with the women playing from up tees to minimize the impact of length, and then let’s see who prevails. Winning team gets all the $$ made from event, losers go home.

This sort of event sure would be a lot more fun to anticipate and watch this winter than another Skins game. Ah… if only I could be LPGA commissioner for a day.

ADDENDUM: All the early commentors say that leading PGA men would not want to compete in an event like this, which is all the more reason the LPGA ought to propose it and then make a big deal about the men “being afraid” to play and lose. Imagine Annika calling out Tiger, asking if he fears his team can’t even beat women from Europe. And Lorena Ochoa can call out Sergio in Spanish.


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