PGA Tour Canada announces sched — prez's salary equal to purse of three tournaments

The Canadian Tour PGA Tour Canada announced its tournament schedule yesterday. Not shockingly it is relatively anemic, with two new events replacing two tournaments that have disappeared and seven tournaments in all, including one without a home — yet. There are currently no Ontario events, which is a big gap for the tour.

The news came with the typical canned quote from PGA Tour head honcho Tim Finchem:

“We are delighted to announce the inaugural schedule of PGA TOUR Canada,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “This Tour presents a tremendous opportunity for the growth of the game in Canada and we’re excited about the future of this tour in the coming years. From The Presidents Cup to the RBC Canadian Open, the PGA TOUR has always been welcomed in Canada. We’ve seen an outstanding appetite and level of support for the game, and we look forward to engaging that interest this year.”

Not surprisingly, the tour struggled to get much traction in the few months since it officially took over the former Canadian Tour. Two tournaments have disappeared, but it seems to be widely accepted that the Windsor event, which was held at the Roseland muni, and the Eastern Ontario event, which was held at Smuggler’s Glen, could come back. I hadn’t heard many complaints about Windsor — but it was well known the Smuggler’s Glen event struggled to attract a field partially due to questionable scheduling.

The two new events happen in Cape Breton — at the Lakes — and at a venue to be announced. The Lakes is an interesting choice for a venue — it won’t be an easy walk, and some of the strategies of the course are questionable, and its practice facility is basically non-existant. But it is still nice to see the tour move to the east coast. Hard to imagine there isn’t something in Halifax — but the tour has been working on landing an event in Eastern Canada for some time without luck.

PGA Tour Canada president Jeff Monday gives another canned quote:

“This is a very solid starting point for our schedule,” said PGA TOUR Canada President Jeff Monday. “Our goal is to provide our members with quality events with long-term commitments, which leave a lasting impact in the communities we play and we feel we are well on our way to achieving those goals. We are working on several opportunities to increase the number of events not only this year but in 2014.”

Admittedly it was hard to expect much more from PGA Tour Canada. Last year was basically a bust. Sponsors wouldn’t sign on without knowing whether they were dealing with the PGA Tour or the Canadian Tour and that wasn’t decided until late in the year. However, if they aren’t up to 12 events in 2014, questions will certainly be raised. Of course, five players will get access (but not full playing privileges apparently) to the Tour, which is good news, and a handful more get access to the final stage of Q School, which only gets you on the Tour now.

Finally, the tour has kept purses consistent at $150,000, the same as the Latinoamerica Tour the PGA Tour is also backing.

Wonder how many former CanTour pros recognize that president Jeff Monday’s 2011 salary is slightly more than the combined purses of three tournaments? Bet you that’s a heck of a lot more than Rick Janes was making — heck it is probably more than the combined staff of the former Canadian Tour including Janes. I guess the question now is whether Monday and his staff can deliver. I’ve only sat down with Monday once — he seemed like a sharp, personable guy. But big salaries come with big expectations.

It’ll be interesting to see how this progresses.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’d be interested to know how much the RCGA Head Honcho makes annually. Would that info be public knowledge RT, since Golf Canada is receiving Gov’t funding?

  • Steve: I’ve asked before — for a ScoreGolf interview a few years back — and they refused to tell me. Apparently Canadian legislation doesn’t force them to. I’d guess it is less than the commish of the CanTour though — but more than one might initially think.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong but the PGA tour is funding the CanTour and if it chooses to pay the CanTour commish so much then its really the PGA players who has the real beef on this issue. After reading your endless tirades on Toronto and its mayor, its becoming all too evident that your entitlement views are now prevailing on the sport that you cover.

  • Comrade Thompsonevski,
    You have always struck me as a ‘champagne socialist’.
    You (and all golfers in Canada) need to check out this link:
    While the annual report is very short on details and they would not meet the basic rules for financial transparency, it does shed some light on the organization – Golf Canada. Although 28 of the 40 pages provide little financial info to us (the owners) it does go into great detail about the Board members, committees and winners of last year’s events. One could argue ALL this info should be on the website and not used to bulk up the Annual Report. It is far less detailed than several years ago although several of the same issues still remain (To name a few the $40MM from the sale of Glen Abbey still not converted into Open sites and the Golf Canada Centre still has a significant cost to operate-$1.5MM per annum). Here are some other highlights: Dues collected from amateurs -$3.3MM (called membership but it is the only membership where I do not receive a cent in value), investments stand at 26MM – a loss of 400K from 2011, a market to market loss of 145K on their currency hedging, etc.
    It is very difficult to garner any information from these statements. If you have better luck let us know!

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