How does golf hit back against LIV Golf? It starts, Harris English says, by being ready to hit first.
On this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar, the multiple-time PGA Tour winner joined hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz for an earnest conversation on all things golf, including the recent developments that have left English’s home tour struggling against its Saudi-backed rivals.
In English’s mind, LIV’s gains of the last several months have been largely due to the PGA Tour’s failings — failings that have come primarily because of the Tour’s own hubris.
I don’t think the PGA Tour thought it was going to get off the ground,” English told Knost and Stoltz. “We’ve got to be more thinking forward, of, hey, ‘we’re going to have to combat this for at least a few years.’”
On the PGA Tour, English says, the focus largely surrounds protecting the ground already in place.
“I think a lot of guys now are like ‘ok, these guys have left, but what do we do going forward?’” English said. “Worst-case scenario, best-case scenario?”
In English’s mind, the Tour’s best asset is its stable of young players, which are not only many of the world’s best players, but also represent the future of the game. So long as the Tour keeps those players — and continues to groom the next generation of stars — it will continue to have the leg-up.
“So how are we going to do it? How are we going to keep the younger guys on Tour?” English said. “We have to keep building our college program to where the best college players come on the PGA Tour, the Korn Ferry Tour.”
Of course, it won’t be easy. The Tour’s rivals are deep-pocketed, and in professional sports (especially golf), money talks. But money hasn’t been enough to convince the next generation of golf stars to jump. As far as English is concerned, so long as that’s the case, the PGA tour has a fighting chance.
“I think that’s how we’ve got to do it, we’ve got to keep the young guys here,” English said. “As long as the young Americans and all the Scheffler’s, the Burns’, the Morikawa’s. Those young guys. So long as they stay, we have an unbelievable product and we can keep growing it with the young guys.”
To hear the rest of English’s interview on Subpar, including his memory of his first Ryder Cup, check out the link below.