Max Homa has been vocal about the PGA New Rules

PGA New Rules: What Are They And How Do They Affect The Field

If you thought golf was finished being the most controversial sport in the world, we just received the next chapter to this never-ending saga.

The PGA organization board has approved drastic tweaks to the 2024 tour schedule shaping a new business model that is under heavy scrutiny by many throughout golf’s landscape.

One mandatory goal for the PGA is to fend off the surging competition of little brother LIV Golf, but is this new system sustainable for long-term success?

Here’s What We Know So Far

  • Eight designated (non-major) tournaments with no cuts after Friday’s round
  • Player field is reduced, ranging from 70-80 golfers
  • Increased prize money up to $20 million per event

(At first glance, most would have thought these were LIV golf rules.)

Who Will This Positively Impact?

TV ratings will skyrocket with consumers guaranteed to see their favorite players Thursday to Sunday regardless of their score. Additionally, ticket sales will spike because if golfers stink Thursday and Friday, spectators still have access to watch the overall best players compete Saturday and Sunday.

The best-case scenario for the PGA is for fans to witness top players battling it out regularly on back nines every Sunday, creating mini storylines and rivalries that will escalate through the season.

Let’s not forget top golfers who have already solidified themselves on the tour are huge winners. Eligible players for next year’s events include the top 50 players from the previous year’s FedExCup points list, meaning if your 2023 campaign was a success, you will be protected.

The best golfers have their spot secured for next year so they are guaranteed to reap financial rewards of battling for the largest purses in PGA history.

Max Homa recently chimed in with his thoughts in a recent interview during the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Homa said: “I think it’s easy to frame these changes as putting more money into players’ pockets, but it has been made to make it more fun for the fans.”

Many viewed this as an extremely strange interview. The first minute Homa is claiming it’s not about the money, but in the second half he is exuberant these events will provide more money to players.

Who Gets Left Behind?

If you’re a golfer outside of the top 80, the 2024 PGA Tour season will be filled with uncertainties. Many around the game have voiced their resounding frustration about the ethics and traditions the PGA is not abiding by.

James Hahn, a two-time PGA Tour winner currently ranked outside the cut-off line for next year’s events, ripped the PGA Tour in a recent interview with Golfweek’s Adam Schupak.

“We’re not spending money to provide the best playing experience for our members; all we’re concerned with is just pushing money to the top players on our tour,” he said, adding he “hates” the new plan.

@oddssharkbetting PGA tour is wrong for this…. #golf #golftiktok #pga #pgatour #livgolf #sports #fyp #rorymcilroy ♬ RAVE - Dxrk ダーク

From a competition perspective, whatever happened to earning your spot to play on weekends? Has the PGA Tour turned into house-league soccer where everyone gets a participation medal?

With no-cut events, what is the motivation factor to win tour-level events? Will players show up at designated events solely for a paycheck?

The PGA Tour is Reflecting Today’s Economy

The rich get richer while the bottom quartile have to fend for themselves. Money will be funneled through the top while average golfers on the tour are left stranded.

It’s no surprise the likes of world No. 2 Rory McIlroy and world No. 8 Max Homa are in favor of the new tour events because next year will only benefit their global image and pockets.

So how can the PGA solve the main concern for players left in the dust? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Have qualifying rounds before tournaments begin, for example on Tuesday and Wednesday for players on the bubble.
  2. Players ranked 70-140 have a single-round elimination event against one another March Madness-style – you win your rounds, you’re in.
  3. Players who finish these eight designated events from 50th-70th place are cut from the next event. Bring in the best 20 golfers who did not qualify that deserve a chance based on previous results. This guarantees a competitive playing field resulting in golfers constantly fighting for their spot on the tour.

Think about how Max Homa’s tone would have changed if this was his first season on the tour. The American would have been swept under the rug like the rest of the tour by PGA commissioner Jay Monahan. But because Homa is now on the other side of the fence, the “grass” is greener.

Similar to any job in today’s economy, whoever generates the most revenue is protected at all costs.

Although increasing prize money is guaranteed, less money is going around to golfers who have earned their status to play in top tournaments. The PGA Tour was supposed to do everything in its power to fight LIV Golf but with these new events and rule changes, the PGA – whether unintentionally or not – is slowly becoming them.

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