Black Friday, a day known for waking up early to get the best deals of the year, was a day for the record books of golf. It was the first ever Pay-per-View televised event in the history of the sport. But the idea of big shots teeing it up with each other playing for money dates much farther back than the Tiger – Phil Match.
The first instance of big televised matches was Shell's Wonderful World of Golf, a showdown of some of the greatest golfers of the last 50 years. Some of these matches include Jack Nicklaus vs. Sam Snead at Pebble Beach and Arnold Palmer vs. Gary Player in Hawaii. But these matches never cost money to watch. Could Pay-per-View be the future of large professional golf tournaments?
Some predict that with the introduction of Pay-per-View into the realm of televised golf, you will have to pay to watch the largest events of the year, such as the U.S. Open, The Masters, etc. Will these cost $20 or more to watch? Will every tournament cost money to watch? Will viewers become required to pay for the Golf Channel? These questions will remain unanswered until the full scope of the potentials for Pay-per-View golf has been tested.
Until then, let us enjoy free golf while it lasts, such as the PGA Tour’s annual Hawaii run in January with beautiful views of Kapalua Plantation Course and Waiʻalae Country Club.