Laying ground rules for golf all-star talk

February, 15, 2009

This one actually came through via my SportsNation chat last week, but it's worth delving into once more. From Brian in Savannah, Ga.:

Do you think golf should have an all-star event?

Coming off the NBA's All-Star weekend, which was preceded in successive weeks by the NFL Pro Bowl and NHL All-Star Game, this is a timely question and one which I've never heard discussed by the powers that be on the PGA Tour.

The easy answer is yes. Anything that brings the game's best players together in a televised, informal setting that would show off their personalities is certainly worth consideration. There need to be a few caveats, though:

1. The top players have to buy into it. The Pro Bowl is less genuine when the elite players skip the festivities. If the likes of Tiger, Sergio, Vijay and Phil decide not to partake, consider the idea dead before it ever lived.

2. It has to be conducted during the season. Skills competitions and other fun-filled events have long been part of the Silly Season schedule. No one watched those and no one will watch this, either, if it takes place in November and airs on tape delay.

3. It can't disrupt the flow of a tournament. If the PGA Tour were to ever decide to play three rounds of an event, then have a day of skills competitions and an "all-star game" prior to the final round, the only question is whether the outrage would be louder from the fans or the players.

So when and how would such an idea work best? I'm just spitballing here, but maybe the tour could finish its opening FedEx Cup playoff event on a Saturday, then have something like this on Sunday of that week, with the game's top players involved in everything from a driving distance challenge to a putting contest, followed by a Ryder Cup-style match.

Got a better idea? Let me have it. I'll post the best ones -- along with another e-mail topic -- in next week's edition of the W18. Hit me at

Jason Sobel is a golf writer for

Jason Sobel | email

ESPN Senior Writer




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