The PGA Tour Champions

Professional golf has well over 10 different tours four our viewing pleasure. Most are feeder tours for the PGA, European and LPGA that provide the opportunity for younger players to cut their teeth in the professional ranks. These tours have developed over the years to meet the growth of professional golf and the demand for more opportunities for the expanding numbers of players trying to make it to the big leagues. All the tours that is, except one: The PGA Tour Champions.

Created in 1980, this tour has evolved over the years to meet the demand for the viewing fans. This tour, although it has some great players, mostly leverages the names and reputations of past PGA Tour stars who still have a bit of game left. The most prolific winner on the PGA Tour Champions is Hale Irwin win 45 wins; not bad considering to qualify for this tour, you must be 50 years old.

Since 2008, Bernhard Langer has won more money than any other player. Winning the money list 8 of 9 times, he has accumulated roughly 19 million USD playing on the PGA Tour Champions. Not a bad retirement plan if I do say so myself. I have watched Langer play, but he does not captivate my attention like other professional golfers.

Watching some of the greats continue to play is fun, but it holds less intrigue for my viewing pleasure than the PGA or LPGA Tours. I find (and I would qualify for the PGA Tour Champions) that there is something missing from these aging legends; I think it might be the fact that there is little flash in the game of these aged players. I am just not sure what it is, but I will figure it out eventually.

I did ask the question about the qualifying age for the PGA Tour Champions to see if perhaps this was the issue and to see if others felt the same way. This is what you said:

The overwhelming majority stated that they want the qualifying age of 50 years to stay in place. I guess what the respondents don’t want is players like Phil Mickelson to make the jump to the next tour too quickly. They would prefer to see this wily veteran play against the young lions.

I am still not convinced that the senior of tours would not benefit from the likes of Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Jerry Kelly or Angel Cabrera. The infusion of these great players would help the Champions Tour ratings garner greater interest for many viewers and detract very little from the PGA Tour.

I am not against or for the PGA Tour Champions Tour. I am just a bit indifferent. Am I missing something? Are they worth more of my attention? What do you think?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links.

7 thoughts on “The PGA Tour Champions

  1. Pingback: Qualifying for The Champions Tour | The Grateful Golfer

  2. I took up golf late. I used to joke that I had 20 years to make the Champions Tour. Well, those twenty have gone by plus a few and I am still not good enough to play with them. While they may not push them as hard as the kids, as an “old” man myself, I still appreciate the fact that they can still show me a thing or two every time I watch.

    And I do like watching them. These are guys that didn’t grow up with strength trainers and 20 other coaches to prepare them for battle. Their swings are more their own than the kids and that makes them a good resource for us in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Jim,

    I enjoy watching the Champions Tour on occasion. There are some guys I still love to watch, like Freddy Couples. There’s an event that comes to Calgary every summer and going to watch them up close really gave me an appreciation for just how good they still hit it. As far as the qualifying age, I’m ok with 50, although it does end up leaving some players in that “no man’s land” age of 45-49, where they struggle to compete on the PGA Tour but can’t transition to the Champions yet.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim, good post and good perspective. You are not missing anything regarding the Champions Tour. The reason is that it’s primarily about the show and less about the competition. I am more of a purest and share your indifference because I prefer the competitive integrity of a stern test. If they wanted to add that, they’d stop putting all the flags in the middle of the greens. But not many folks want to see Freddy and Bernhard shooting 79s and 80s on the weekends.


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