This Week at WorldGolf.com: Nov. 20, 2007
With European Tour heading to Dubai, will the PGA Tour expand to keep pace?
Take that, Tim Finchem.
You and your sorry $10 million, deferred, FedEx Cup prize.
The climax of the PGA European Tour in 2009 will be the Dubai World Championship, with prize money of $10 million, the richest tournament on the planet. And you can cash the check that day, if the banks are open and you have valid I.D.
The FedEx Cup is a season-long points race, culminating in a four-tournament playoff system. The Race to Dubai is sort of similar. The top 60 money earners on the European Tour qualify and the $10 million will be split among the top 15 finishers, with the winner getting $2 million.
The Players Championship was heretofore the richest tournament, with a purse of $9 million.
The Europeans have long harbored a certain jealousy and resentment of the PGA Tour, which attracts more of the world's top players by waving bigger checks.
Take Justin Rose. The Englishman won Europe's Order of Merit by playing in just 11 European Tour tournaments, the fewest of any player in the top-15 Euro money list. Rose lives in the U.S. and competes mainly on the PGA Tour, where he has yet to win.
Despite the sinking dollar, the European Tour hasn't been able to match prize money with the world's only superpower. So, what do you do?
Expand. Go where the money is.
There will be a record 14 European Tour events in Asia next year, as well as in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Euros already have their three-week "Desert Swing," with the Qatar Masters, Dubai Desert Classic and Abu Dhabi Golf Championhip.
And now, Dubai, one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates in the eastern Arabian Peninsula.
Of course, they're selling their soul for the money. The Race to Dubai will replace the Order of Merit, which I always liked because it sounds so, well, European. Still, there's no corporate branding there.
"This is so much more than a tournament sponsorship," European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady told reporters at the announcement. "It's a long-term partnership which will see the European Tour and Dubai joining together to significantly enhance the game."
Where is the PGA Tour going to expand, Mexico?
Note to Finchem: How does the Baghdad Green Zone Classic sound?
As always, WorldGolf.com welcomes your comments.
With five excellent golf courses, all superbly maintained, and all sorts of fun things to do for the family, the sprawling Reynolds Plantation golf resort is one of the best communities in Georgia golf and, possibly, the U.S., Tim McDonald writes.
Also: Reynolds Plantation's Oconee course
Nary an episode of HBO's "Entourage" goes by without Vince and the gang swinging away on a high-end golf simulator. The compact, affordable Dancin' Dogg is an excellent budget option for us mortal golfers who can't afford the $20,000 models of the stars, however.
Also: Golf instruction and tips at WorldGolf.com
Dates: August 21, 2007 - December 31, 2007
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Badlands Golf Club is the epitome of what a desert golf course should be, Kevin Iole writes. You frequently have to carry the ball over the rugged desert terrain and, to score well, have to place the ball in the proper side of the fairway. Good shots are rewarded, but errant shots are frequently penal, sometimes exceptionally so.
Also: Vegas golf packages heat up winter months
If you're heading to Myrtle Beach for a long holiday weekend, you might want to consider hitting the Waccamaw Golf Trail on Pawleys Island. Three of the courses on the Trail - Litchfield C.C., the River Club and Willbrook Plantation - are offering holiday rates from $45 to $62 per round through Nov. 25. A two-round special begins at just $100.
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