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Home Business or pleasure?

On the surface, the PGA TOUR appears to be a well-oiled machine that has weathered the brisk economic climate. In some ways it appears bullet proof. Sponsors continue to pour large sums of money into it. Just this week Zurich pledged to continue its support until 2019 for the Zurich Classic. NEC Corp announced it has become the umbrella sponsor of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, which is still in its infancy. Keeping the customer happy is extremely important and sometimes taken for granted. 

“I think one of Tim Finchem's biggest worries eventually will be whether or not his players can entertain the sponsors where they love it,” said Steve Elkington. “Basically the PGA TOUR players, they don't even know what they're doing, to be honest. They don't even know how to entertain. You've got to remember that a lot of these kids that came on the PGA TOUR, it's not necessarily their fault that they're not very good in pro-ams. They've never seen what it was like to be good in a pro-am. They were sitting in a dorm room two years ago,” he continued. “Unless you've seen a guy take over a pro-am like a Peter Jacobsen or a Lee Trevino or some of the other great players, I learned from these guys, and what it really is all about, it is the day of the amateur. 

“As the Tours get further apart where you've got generations of guys, I would say I'm one of the last few of the generation that's coming through that still have the old school because I've been on the Tour 30 years. So I know how to do it, I know what it's like to do it, but these guys have no training, the young guys. It's not necessarily their fault. They should be trained better by the Tour.”

Elkington’s playing partner this week in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf is Rocco Mediate. He knows a thing or two about being entertaining. “Arnold taught me about a million things. It's really easy to be fun and exciting or nice to people when you shoot 65, but let's see you do it when you shoot 75. That's the challenge,” said Mediate. “It's like Arnold always says, you've got to give them something for the money. You've got to give them something back. It ain't that hard to do, it's not. And some guys, they don't do it, it's that simple. They just don't do it,” he continued. “It is a business, we know that, I'm not stupid. I might be dumb, but I'm not stupid. So it is a business, but how do you do really well in your business? We're out there to entertain people and shoot low scores, that's it. I just don't get it sometimes. I look at guys and go, how about smile once? How about try that once?”