Ted Bishop of the PGA keeps whining about the anchoring ban, and how bad it will be for the game. And, oddly enough, 13 of the PGA Tour’s 15 member players committee also voted again the ban.
Are these guys totally clueless or what?
Bishop thinks the ban will hurt the game’s growth. Never mind the fact that the real culprits in growing the game are the time it takes to play it, and the cost.
Bishop seems to think that a horde of amateurs will leave the game if they can’t anchor, but the huge majority of these players weren’t anchoring before the recent uptick in its usage, so it is unlikely that many players would leave the game if they can’t anchor their broomsticks.
He and his club pros are also ignoring the long term impact that selling broomsticks could have on the overall sales of putters. An amateur is far more likely to switch short putters (just ask Arnold Palmer!) than he is to go from one long wand to the next because each long wand must be carefully fitted to the player’s stance and physique. Besides, the broomstick is supposed to be the solution to their putting problem, so if it doesn’t work, they would be more likely to go back to a short putter.
Now let’s turn to the ill-considered voting by the tour’s players’ committee. By voting against the ban, they are voting against us, their base of viewers who make those huge purses and their cushy lifestyle possible.
In a recent poll on Geoffshackleford.com, 63% of the over 1,100 voters were for the ban while 37% were against it. His readers are serious viewers – that huge faction of the audience that creates the ratings that drive those huge TV deals. His readers are not those casual fans who only show up when Tiger Woods is playing.
So, I think it is fair to assume that his sample is representative, give or take a few percent, of the opinions of the mass of serious fans who watch PGA Tour events week in, week out. Folks, this is about 70% of the audience that watches when Woods plays.
Now, why would Tim Finchem and his pros go against the wishes of the nearly two thirds of the nearly 100% of their weekly viewers that make the $280 million big money tour possible?
Bishop’s stance and that of the PGA Tour’s committee makes as much sense as a politician trying to be elected governor in a red state on a platform that would include the ban of all guns and religions!
The lesson: Don’t go against your base. We (the 63% of your core audience) hate anchoring, and we might stop watching if it continues. Mr. Finchem, how would you like that when you go to sign your next contract?