On Friday, I had the opportunity to go and see the epic U.S. Open in person. As I watched the “These guys are good” guys get worked by the golf course, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would shoot if given the opportunity to play Merion. On one hand, the course was playing hard, the greens were fast, and the rough was thick and muddy. On the other, I have a lot more experience playing from shitty lies than the PGA tour players have.
One way for the USGA and the PGA Tour to handle such questions is to launch a new initiative. I call it the PGA Average Lad Program (the P.A.L. Program). The basic gist of the PAL Program goes like this: Think you could shoot an 80 at Merion? Let’s see it PAL. In other words, in every PGA tournament, one average lad would join the elite players when they tee it up on Thursday. The PGA PAL would play the same set of tees and would serve as the proverbial pace car for the tour.
Because the PGA PAL is not a professional golfer, the PGA should follow the following guidelines when implementing the program:
- The PAL can’t have a handicap lower than 7.
- The PAL can’t miss the cut. What would be the point if we couldn’t compare the PAL to Phil Mickelson on the weekends? However, if the PAL hits 3 or more spectators with errant shots, he will be disqualified from the event and will have to stand up against a wall like in Butt’s up while Tiger and Bubba Watson fire punch shots at him.
- The PAL has a maximum score of double par on every hole. Once he reaches double par, he picks up his ball and places it on the green next to his PGA Tour playing companion. If the PAL putts his ball closer than the PGA Professional, the USGA donates $7 to charity.
- I will be the first PAL, and the program will be launched at the 2014 Masters.
- One PGA Tour player will be paired with the PAL. To determine this player, the competitor who finished in the worst position the previous week will be paired with the PAL.
- The PAL can wear shorts.
- If the PAL finishes in the top 10 of a tournament, he receives 1,000,000 from a corporate sponsor.
That’s basically the proposal. It makes complete sense to me and I think it could really take the game to a whole new level. USGA – Let’s make this happen. Thanks, Pal!