Fire Drill 040: Unintended Consequences

In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Michael Bamberger, Mac Barnhardt, Ryan French and Alan Shipnuck deconstruct a momentous day for the PGA Tour. Where is the money coming from? What happens to lesser players & tournaments? Will this thwart LIV? Answers here.

Listen to this Fire Drill and other Fire Pit podcasts:

Read Alan’s full story on Tiger and Rory joining forces to reshape the PGA Tour:

Fire Drill

Tiger and Rory Save the Day…For Now

By Alan Shipnuck

7 thoughts on “Fire Drill 040: Unintended Consequences”

  1. 1. More questions than answers. Chaos continues.
    2. Lefty and Shark…prophets….villains….prophetic villains. Which?
    3.Best comment: “golf is a niche sport.” This I think is at the heart of the matter. To those of us who love it, golf is different from the big money sports. The essence of golf is sportsmanship and integrity. In what other sports do the participants serve as referees? In the early decades of the 20th century there was a definite tension between the amateurs and the professionals (much like the tension today between LIV and the Tour). Money was at the root of the tension. Gradually and over time the amateurs faded and the professionals prevailed, but even then golf was different. The professionals honored the game’s traditions. Check out golf tournaments before the beginning of the 21st century. They were named after celebrity amateur golf enthusiasts (Hope, Martin, Crosby, etc) and the players did not wear advertisements. Today the tournaments are named after corporations and the players are walking billboards. It’s pretty much inevitable that the game has arrived at the point where it is today….a strictly mercenary endeavor with talk of gaming opportunities, streaming rights, and franchising possibilities. Where will it end? How will it end?
    4. I don’t know if I’m a normal golf enthusiast, but I don’t like any of this mad dash for the dollar. When I retired ten years ago I moved to the California Sierra foothills where I play an incredibly picturesque course everyday. By now I’ve played it hundreds of times and I still get chills looking at the way the architect has embedded the various holes into the beauty of the natural hills…even when I’m having a bad game. Is it me or is golf losing its soul on the elite level?
    5. Golf has always had its one transcendent superstar: Jones, Sarazen, Nelson, Snead, Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus, Watson, Norman (yes, Norman), and Tiger. It’s fascinating to me that currently there is a void at the top. The most interesting golfer since Tiger may be Cam, and we know where he’s headed.

  2. “who will save golf? “golf does not need to be saved golf is my dad God rest his soul golf is me and my buddy Steve golf is my son and the friends he plays with. I’m sick of these pre-Madonna‘s and have been for quite a while. You guys need to be asking who’s gonna save your jobs . Good luck thanks

  3. Question now is whether or not LIV gets OWGR points and it’s affect on playing in the majors. Next huge shoe to drop. Also I do not think the moral issue has played out. LIV is going to have to contend with this every tournament and especially after filing suits. Seems to die down a bit as their tournaments are spread out, but it will be interesting to see what shows in Boston.

  4. Great conversations, guys. Alan…Michael…Ryan…Mac!!!
    “Unintended Consequences” was the perfect title…and Mac mentioned several…with more to come.
    We fans and part-time golfers that have always loved the history, the legends…and the legendary feats, will continue to do so. Would that Jay and Greg were able to have the kind of conversation that the Fire Drill guys just had. The Aussie Tour seems more amenable to “live and let live”, and the DPTour seems willing to, at least, act like adults. Saudi has a large presence in the Asian Tour already. Murky waters ahead, as Alan opined. Cheers all !

  5. Ryan, now that Rory won Tour Championship/FedEx Cup, do you still believe his significant role in this battle/transition/shit show is a continuing impediment to his performance?
    Dude seems more motivated than ever.

  6. Jonathan Tillman

    The part I struggle with the most is do these guys who are going to the LIV tour love golf? What happens in 5 years if no one watches and the Saudis decide to stop the league? Do these young guys end up never playing competitive golf at the highest level again? Do they care? Will there be a few who are the Shoeless Joes of our time and pop up in Mini tour events or USGA qualifying rounds?

    LIV is not guaranteed to be here in 5 years. It may not make it that long. Is that part of the calculus of these guys who are moving over and what’s the plan if it fails?

    My guess is most of the guys who left don’t love golf, they love money. Cam Smith though seems to be just the opposite. What the heck does a guy like him do if this all falls apart.

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