With sponsors seemingly droppin’ like flies lately, the LPGA needs to shake things up and get more fans into the galleries and tuned into the TV next season or things could pretty rough. And since you can count this Caveman among the LPGA’s supporters, I thought I’d make a quick list of things I’d do if I were the commissioner of the ladies’ tour:
- Battle of the Sexes – Take a look at tennis, one of the few sports worldwide where the womens competition rivals the mens in popularity. While today’s superstars would no doubt be getting their fair share of attention on their own, ladies tennis got one heckuva jolt from the famous 1973 match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, the so-called “Battle of the Sexes.” So how about pitting the stars of the PGA against the LPGA’s top players? Could make for an exciting skins match for a great cause if a charity or two were set up as beneficiaries.
- Playoffs – It’s not perfect, but the PGA’s FedEx Cup playoff system finally had it’s first thriller of a finish this year! I’d be all for a similar end-of-the-season set-up for the ladies. Sure, it’d be subject to the same troubles as the mens, but a points system would provide another aspect to competition and could draw in a few more viewers if it stayed close down the stretch.
- Public Appearances – Even many “middle of the pack” PGA players have better name recognition with the public than some of the stars competing in the LPGA today. While a few names have transcended the game (Lorena Ochoa, Natalie Gulbis, Annika Sorenstam, for example), I’d love to see more players get exposure from manufacturers and other media outlets. The winners of a major on the PGA Tour usually get to read the Top Ten list on Letterman – let’s get the ladies out there, too! Speaking of Annika, I think it’d be great to have her be a part of the TV coverage for LPGA and PGA majors.
- Youth Outreach – One sure-fire way to grow the LPGA’s fan base is to work towards getting more girls on the golf course! While organizations like The First Tee are doing a great job getting youngsters involved, I think an extra committment to girls’ golf teams and the like are a great way to ensure there will be no shortage of lady golfers in the future.
What do YOU think? What else can the LPGA do to get back on course and help its players earn the recognition their stellar golf games deserve? Let me know in the comments below!
-Scratch the Golfin’ Caveman