News & ToursMarch 11, 2015

Turns out golf fans are not as indifferent as the PGA Tour would like you to believe

On Tuesday, in the wake of remarks from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem about why the tour doesn't publicize fines and suspensions, we conducted a poll asking whether fans were interested in such disciplinary measures.

By Finchem's estimation, the tour keeps these transactions private is because "we don't think the fans really want to know about most of the stuff we would be talking about." It was a rather bold supposition, so our poll essentially asked, Is this true?

Here was the result.

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Some elaborated when we posed the question on social media.

Christopher Thompson: Finchems full of --it! I want to know everything he knows. Full disclosure. Complete transparency. Anything less is manipulative.

Golf Refugees: If pro golfers fail drug tests then this information should be made public. The PGA' Tour's drug policy is weak and secretive. They need to come clean, take blood samples to test for the use of human growth hormone and embrace transparency.

Of course there were some who backed Finchem by usually stating one of two things: 1. Golf for them is a refuge and they don't need to be concerned with players' transgressions; 2. Golfers have a right to privacy like any other employee of a large business, and our curiosity shouldn't interfere with that.

Kevin Moruzin: I think players have a right to privacy. As fans, we don't need to know the reasons for a player being disciplined. When an employee is disciplined in the workplace, it's not posted on the company's website or bulletin board - sports figures should be afforded that same level of privacy.

It's an understandable sentiment, but not entirely accurate since PGA Tour golfers are actually independent contractors. But maybe that's semantics. As we mentioned on Tuesday, one of the reasons a league like the NHL is so proactive in announcing fines and suspensions is to deter future behavior from players. And while drug use and club throwing are potent enough offenses that the tour may be skittish about going public with them, maybe it could start with something relatively innocuous but still vital to golf's entertainment value.

@GolfDigest not at all. I'd like to see more people on tour called for slow play that would be a gr8 way to speed up the game.

— Andy Marcolin (@AndyMarcolin) March 10, 2015

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