3 Ideas That Could Re-energize the FedEx Cup
Oct 15, 2015
Image: Steve Burns/CC-BY-2.0
Here at Golf Academy of America, we're all golf nuts. If the PGA Tour decided to hold a tournament at the most uninteresting goat pasture in golf, we'd still tune in to watch the pros duke it out.
Still, once the PGA Championship ends each August, the golf season gradually loses steam (with the one-week-every-other-year exception of the Ryder Cup and sometimes the Presidents Cup). This doesn't make sense; we're closing in on a full decade with the season-capping, four-event FedEx Cup Playoffs. Even the fact that the winner receives $10 million just doesn't seem to give it enough oomph.
So, here are some new ideas that might pep things up a bit:
1. Revamp the tour championship
It has always been a little strange that it's possible for the FedEx Cup champion not to win the Tour Championship. So let's do away with that possibility. And, while we're at it, let's give the year's final event more of a do-or-die feel. That's right — we're talking match play. The first two rounds of the Tour Championship can still be stroke play, but let's make them a 36-hole sprint with the low eight players advancing to the single-elimination stage. On Saturday, two sessions will bring the field from eight players down to two, with Sunday serving as a grand face-off with the winner taking home the $10 million prize. The opportunity to watch Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth play a $10 million match would make even the most apathetic golf fan salivate.
2. You cannot win if you do not play
The last few years, a trend has arisen where highly-ranked players have skipped entire Playoff weeks because their spot was safe. Rory McIlroy skipped this year's Barclays, and Sergio Garcia skipped the Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship. In college basketball, it doesn't matter how well you played during the regular season — the #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament still have to suit up against the #16s. If all contenders were required to play every week, players' endurance would be tested equally, highly-ranked players would have to keep up top-performance to protect their rankings, and lower players would fight even harder to make the cut.
3. Team up
The fervor that brews around the Ryder Cup is proof: team golf is awesome! Why not put more of it on the schedule? The NCAA has it right — the Tour could order the top 100 players to form five-man teams for the playoffs, with the low four scores counting each day, alongside the individual title. The week before the Tour Championship, a team champion would be crowned and field the final round. If that's not a strong enough incentive, why not tie the team event to charities?
Have your own ideas on how to liven things up? We want to hear from you! Tell us your ideas on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter. You can also keep up with Golf Academy of America on Instagram!