Think Tiger Woods inflates PGA Tour purses? Think again - maybe 'golf can survive' after all
While fired up about a number of Tiger Woods issues debated in the media this afternoon, especially the clubbed-to-death notion that “golf can’t survive without Tiger Woods,” I’ve been crunching some numbers.
And I’ve found a statistic worth mentioning regarding PGA Tour purse sizes that is even surprising to me. For years, we’ve been told that since the debut of Tiger Woods professionally, purse sizes have skyrocketed.
It’s true, but not abnormal on a percentage scale looking back at the last several decades. Check this out:
Tiger Woods turned professional in 1996. From 1996-2006, the purse for the PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP went from $3.5 million to $8 million. That’s a 229% increase.
From 1986 thru 1996, the purse went from $900,000 to $3.5 million, or a 389% increase. From 1976-1986? 300% ($300,000 to $900,000).
I’ve looked at some other tournaments purse sizes throughout history and they seem to be pretty similar.
Most sports, not just golf, appear to be topping out or scaling back in regards to payment of its players. So it’s safe to say the party is slowing down regarding player compensation, but it’s going to be a mighty healthy living for quite some time. The PGA Tour was prosperous before Tiger Woods came on the scene, and will not cease to exist when he leaves.
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My bet is that he'll be back in the saddle (both saddles, actually) faster than you could knock over a fire hydrant. I doubt he'll be missing the Masters.