Regarding this suggestion from John Huggan in Scotland on Sunday that he'd like to see Tiger Woods "play somewhere for nothing," perhaps by taking an appearance fee and returning it to the tournament for its charity, calls to mind an idea Rick Schloss, a San Diego-based public relations man, once had.
Schloss, who has handled PR for what was the Buick Invitational for decades, suggested that a player whose off-course income far exceeds their on-course income --Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, for instance -- ought to announce at the beginning of the year that in every tournament in which they play they would return the money they earned that week to the tournament's charity. On the off chance they might miss the cut, they'd pledge to write a check to the charity.
It would be a monumental PR boon to the player, Schloss said; he'd be a hero in every city in which he played. Woods earns upwards of $100 million a year off the course, while Mickelson earns upwards of $40 million away from the course. Neither really needs their tournament earnings of $5 million to $10 million.
Of course, it's a pipe dream. Still, a pretty good idea.
-- John Strege