New PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has a chance to turn an already successful tour into something very special.
In many ways, golf is like being a sportscaster in 2017. As much as I absolutely love every minute of this career, it has evolved -- and we all have to change with it. If not, people get left behind.
Your approach can also help bring a new perspective. So I thought I would help Monahan out by making a few suggestions on how he can treat and utilize some of his "talent" on tour.
A few things I learned from the great Vince McMahon:
1. Entertainment. This is where it has to start. Golf is a great sport, but players need to understand the only way fans will watch all the time is if you entertain them. There have been only a few golfers in history to embrace this side of the sport. There has to be a starting point in every conversation. In 2017, this is a great place to start.
2. Make a list -- and then drink it in. Meaning just like my man Chris Jericho, Monahan needs to target a certain number of players and push them to the moon. It might not be a popular decision in the locker room, but at the end of the day it's about eyeballs and interests. And if you can give some sizzle to Jordan Spieth or Jason Day, then that's exactly what you have to do. It's about stars on and off the course.
3. "You can't see me." It's what John Cena always says. The best commissioners in sports are the ones that you never see, but their presence can be felt. Jay, how good are you at shaking hands with the CEO of "Beats by Dre" on Tuesday at a tournament? Understanding that not just promoting diversity on the course, but bringing in diverse sponsorships as well, should become of paramount importance.
4. "It's time to play the game." When Triple H was created, they called him the Cerebral Assassin. His theme song started, "It's time to play the game." Take a look at the Ryder Cup. Every morning a DJ blared music as the crowd was pushed into a lather. I get that you can't do this type of emotion at every event, but you can make the presentation a high energy "it doesn't really matter if someone is talking" show. Oh wait -- that was The Rock. Monahan needs to think about radical change when it comes to events in Tampa, Puerto Rico, San Antonio. Give the fans a reason to come.
To be clear -- The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker -- none of them would have been who they are without the mega machine behind them. McMahon pushed their personalities to a 10. Monahan needs to meet with all his players and challenge them -- make them understand that in 2017, the guys who are going to be used to promote the sport are the ones who show something on the course.
Let us know that you understand that getting under your playing partner's skin a little bit is OK -- because the fans who paid their hard-earned money to see you want to see some personality. And personality drives everything in sports and entertainment.
The Rock used to say his personality was Dwayne Johnson turned up 10 levels. Most players won't be comfortable with this and that's why most pros will remain very well paid, and remain in the back.
I understand the PGA Tour won't be turned into Monday Night Raw, but I encourage Monahan to think of the layers that make that show the longest-running cable program ever. Not every idea works, but if you start with entertainment and you end with personality, somewhere in between you will have momentum like they haven't seen since Tiger Woods did it essentially by himself in 2000.
Good luck, Jay. If you need any help, you know where to find me.