Mondays With Mike Bradshaw – Charity & The PGA Tour

So it looks like the PGA Tour will be back in action on June 11 at the Colonial in Texas.  No fans for the first four weeks, but professional golf at its’ highest level is planning a come back in a big way.  Over-aggressive?  Maybe.  Will the players all play?  No one know for sure, as they are all independent contractors and make their own schedules.  But as a lifetime lover of the game, my $.02 is that they better do it right–because it could be a tremendous opportunity for game as a whole.

Just under 16 million people tuned in to the NFL Draft on Thursday night–a jump of over 4 million viewers from last year.  For an event that was held digitally, recorded in many places with cellphone cameras, and featured maybe 20-30 names people can remember (and another 200-300 we will all forget tomorrow), the numbers are jaw-dropping.  There were many amazing sights throughout the three days of coverage…as well as $100 million raised for COVID-related charities through the Draft-A-Thon.

You may not know it, but the PGA Tour is one of the largest charitable sports organizations in the world.  Each week there is an event–and each event has a specific charity or charities that it is raising money for.  When you see the purse paid out on Sunday, that same amount (or more in most cases) is donated to local charities.

PHOTO: Chris Urbanowicz/Flickr Commons

And there is no better time than now to raise even more funds.  I know that having no fans will shrink the income for the events—but the TV ratings for the events will be higher than ever.  Use that leverage to raise funds for the first responders, nurses, doctors, etc. in the area of the event that helped make the area safe enough to even hold the event.  Or for the people whose lives have been decimated in the past 2-3 months through something totally out of their control.

The game of golf and charity have always gone hand-in-hand.  We all see it with charity golf tournaments everywhere throughout the world, raising Billions (with a capital  “B”) each year for tons of charitable causes.  Here’s a hope that the Tour is able to step up there already-awesome charity “game” and, when all eyes are on them, show the entire world what the spirit of the game is truly about…  

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