Good Idea Or Bad Idea: A Golf Super League?
Good Idea Or Bad Idea: A Golf Super League? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
Where there’s money there are ideas, and for the sports world this year, those with the money seem to be interested in creating as many Super Leagues as possible. Last week golf was at the center of the Super League debate with players voicing opinions for and against the proposal. Just like soccer leagues, golf federations hinted at what would befall those golfers who might make the leap to a Super League, while some who make their living 18 holes at a time defended the concept and tried to highlight the positives the format would offer players and fans. So, is a golf Super League a good idea or a bad idea?
The early favorite to be the phrase of the year in the sports world is “Super League,” as some of the world’s most popular spectator and participation sports contemplate the item of seeing one created. Last week it was announced a group of “Saudi negotiators” have made proposals to begin a Premiere Golf League made up of four-player teams that would compete against each other on a week-to-week basis. The league’s backers were offering between $30 and $100 Million to players they spoke to as well as an ownership stake in the team they play for, and with that many commas and zeros being discussed, the conversation among golfers became interesting to say the least.
One of those “$100 Million” players is reportedly Phil Mickelson, who is in favor of such a Super League. The aging lefty defended the proposal by saying, “I think the fans would love it because they would see the best players play exponentially more times … instead of four or five times, it would be twenty times.”
Making the cast against the Super League was Rory McIlroy, who said, “playing this game to try to cement my place in history and my legacy and to win major championships.” The 32-year-old added, “The game of golf … is so about history. We still talk about Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen and Ben Hogan and all those guys because that’s what this game is. It’s steeped in history and the legacies that those guys have. If you move further away from that, you’re basically losing the essence of what competitive golf is.”
Phil Mickelson who turns 51 next month, is at a different stage in his career, but he understands what McIlroy is saying. “We all make a very good living. We all do well. I’ve already had kids and I had the ability to control my schedule and be at big moments in their lives. If you’re a younger player, are you going to give that up?”
These two golfers outline the pros and cons of a golf Super League and why it would have its appeal for some players and not for others. Mickelson is not likely to win another major, while McIlroy still can win several, which means the lure of money is bigger for one, while the calling of history is there for the other.
Why just make a living as Mickelson can on the PGA Tour when you can cash out, not need to worry about anything other than playing, and along the way make eight or nine figures instead of seven? Perhaps this is Phil Mickelson admitting that people may not want to see him play as much anymore since his chances of making the cut at a major grow slimmer by the year; or, as some accuse, he and others like him are more interested in the money and don’t care as much about a legacy tied to green jackets and fancy trophies.
As someone who accepts that golf has a four-weekend season when the major tournaments are played, I wouldn’t care if Mickelson or anyone else was playing for millions somewhere else, and them ducking The Masters or any other major would be a concession they can’t win those tournaments. McIlroy is right, golf is about history, and those who dishonor that history by joining this Super League deserve what they get, which is hopefully a lifetime ban from the PGA and all the other federations golf has around the world.
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