Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Should Golfers Be Paid an Appearance Fee?

It is common knowledge that Tiger Woods has been paid large appearance fees to take part in golf tournaments, particularly in the Middle East. Last year it was claimed that Woods was paid more that the first prize money that was being offered for the Dubai Desert Classic, just for playing in the event. And this year he is being paid appearance money to play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship too.

The organisers of these events know that the appearance of Tiger Woods in their event will not only guarantee larger crowds on the day but also give them a larger global television audience and so wider coverage for the event sponsors. This in turn makes it more likely for them to get sponsors for the event and for the event to be successful. So is it a win win situation?

Well one of the problems is that that PGA tour does not allow players to be paid appearance fees, whereas the European Tour has no rules against it, although it does not advocate the practice. So, if there is a choice between playing in a PGA event or a European Tour event, and the player will get paid a large appearance fee for the European Tour one, then there may not be a big choice to be made.

So maybe it is up to either the European Tour to ban the practice (and there would be a lot of big money behind the opposition to this) or else for the PGA Tour to allow it.

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