PGA Tour Creates Financial Assistance Program For Players
The PGA Tour has "outlined a number of programs to provide financial assistance to players, who are independent contractors and are compensated based entirely on their performance," according to Rex Hoggard of GOLFCHANNEL.com. IRS regulations prohibit the Tour "from distributing unearned financial benefits to members," but it has "created a number of programs for players, including an advanced-payment model based on projected FedExCup earnings." Players can receive "up to $100,000 in bonus earnings that will be removed from their season-ending bonus after play has been restarted" based on where they are "projected on the current FedExCup list." The Tour also has created a program "that will allow players to request advance payments for future Monday pro-am spots (up to $30,000) and advances on future earnings." Additionally, the Tour will allow for a "partial mid-season distribution of an endorsement program, and caddies will be allowed to make financial requests to the Caddie Benevolent Fund" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 3/28).
DID THEY GO FAR ENOUGH? GOLF.com's weekly roundtable notes the Tour has "not yet announced any plans to assist Korn Ferry Tour players in a way that, say, Major League Baseball is giving its minor leaguers a weekly stipend." GOLF.com's Dylan Dethier writes it "makes sense to follow a similar model, where Korn Ferry players could borrow against their future earnings, to help string things out a bit." But he adds, "I understand the reluctance from the Tour -- few things are less certain than a pro golfer's next paycheck." GOLF.com's Josh Sens: "Strikes me as a can of worms the Tour is unlikely to open, as once you get started, where do you stop? Though it does seem a bit backward to start at the top circuit and work down, rather than the other way around." GOLF.com's Luke Kerr-Dineen: "It would be great that they did, but it's also a business, and with no money currently coming in, the potential for its rights deals to be affected by all this and everything else, there’s no use being idealistic. ... I have no idea if it's financially feasible for them to take on that commitment" (GOLF.com, 3/30).
PRETTY, PRETTY, PRETTY GOOD: CNN.com's Alaa Elassar noted comedian Larry David has "launched a GoFundMe for golf caddies" at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., who are "losing income due to the coronavirus pandemic." The goal was to reach $150,000, and it raised $111,000 "within a week of its launch" (CNN.com, 3/28).