PGA stars to cash in on $40m bonus scheme that rewards popularity and 'moving the needle'

'Golfweek' reports that ten players will share bonus pot for driving fan and sponsor engagement 
PGA stars to cash in on $40m bonus scheme that rewards popularity and 'moving the needle'

STAR ATTRACTION: Tiger Woods is the "entire reason we’re able to play for so much money, the entire reason this sport is as popular as it is, and the reason most of us are playing," admits Brooks Koepka.

GOLF’S PGA Tour in America has introduced a lucrative bonus structure that rewards the game’s biggest stars regardless of how they perform on the course, Golfweek has reported.

The new system, introduced this year, is designed to reward players who drive fan and sponsor engagement, like Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy.

Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch exclusively revealed that the ‘Player Impact Program’ is seen as a response to the threat of the proposed Premier Golf League, a breakaway organisation funded out of Saudi Arabia.

A PGA Tour spokesperson confirmed to Golfweek that the Player Impact Program began January 1 to “recognise and reward players who positively move the needle.” At the end of the year, a pool of $40 million will be distributed among 10 players, with the player deemed most valuable receiving $8 million.

The 10 beneficiaries will be determined based on their “Impact Score,” a number generated from six separate metrics that are designed to quantify that individual’s added value. According to a document the PGA Tour distributed to players, the contents of which were shared with Golfweek, the metrics on which players will be ranked against their peers include their popularity in Google Search, their Nielsen (tv rating) brand exposure, a Q Rating, which measures the familiarity and appeal of a player’s brand and the level of engagement a player drives across social and digital channels.

The document circulated to players by the Tour included simulated impact scores using 2019 figures to illustrate how the ranking will work. Predictably, the player with the best score—the man judged to have added most value to the Tour’s product—was Tiger Woods, who won the 2019 Masters, followed by FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy, with Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler rounding out the top five.

Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose and Adam Scott completed the top 10.

“Tiger should be No. 1 on that list no matter what,” Brooks Koepka told Golfweek when asked about the new bonus plan. “He’s the entire reason we’re able to play for so much money, the entire reason this sport is as popular as it is, and the reason most of us are playing. Not even close.”

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