Tour Championship needs to rotate venues

The PGA Tour needs to wean itself off the Coca-Cola bottle and rotate the Tour Championship throughout the country.

I’ve been to East Lake several times and think it is a terrific course. Thanks to Atlanta-based Coke being a title sponsor, the tournament appears to be locked into East Lake, perhaps forever.

That’s a big mistake. To keep the Tour Championship, we need to start seeing it at different courses. Wouldn’t it be great to see it at Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, Winged Foot, Whistling Straits…? You could go on and on.

The tournament is big enough that you would get some U.S. Open-PGA Championship caliber venues to sign on for a year here and there. A little variety would go a long way towards keeping the Tour Championship fresh.

It’ll be interesting to see what the ratings are for this weekend. Last week’s final round of the BMW Championship suffered a 37 % ratings decline from 2010 and were 60 % lower than 2009 when somebody named Tiger Woods won.

Another bad week on the ratings front, and PGA Tour better start looking at some different possibilities.



ABOUT: Ed Sherman

Ed Sherman was the long-time golf writer for the Chicago Tribune. Recognized with several national golf writing awards, he now writes about golf and sports business for Crain's Chicago Business. He also is the co-host of "The Scorecard," a Saturday morning golf talk show on WSCR-AM 670. His latest book, "Golf Lists Mania," co-written with Leonard Shapiro, will be out this spring.

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