These changes to PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program have big-money implications
The PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program is getting a makeover.
In a press conference Wednesday, Jay Monahan outlined a variety of changes coming to the Tour in the coming years in an effort to keep the game’s top talents from defecting to LIV Golf. One of the biggest changes? A multitude of tweaks to the much-scrutinized PIP.
“Since launching last season, we’ve been committed to reassessing [the Player Impact Program’s] effectiveness in identifying and rewarding the players who drive the most impact to the organization,” Monahan said. “To that end, we are adjusting the criteria and expanding the program.”
The PIP was launched in 2021 as a way to financially reward the Tour’s most popular players, but after the program’s pilot season — and a handful of popular players leaving the Tour — changes are already underway.
Check out below for the four biggest changes to the PIP.
1. They’re doubling the player pool
Only the top 10 players in the PIP standings were financially compensated in 2021, but moving forward, that pool of players will be significantly larger. According to Monahan, the number of players being paid out will double in 2022 and 2023, with 20 players being rewarded via the PIP fund.
2. They’re doubling the money, too
Additionally, the money in the PIP fund is getting a significant boost. Last season, $40 million was doled out to the top 10 players on the list. But for 2022 and 2023, that number has increased to $100 million. Monahan previously indicated that the fund would increase to $50 million in 2022, but as the number of players in the program has doubled, the cash up for grabs is doubling, too.
3. They’re tweaking the formula
Not only have the dollars and cents been altered, but so too has the formula that the Tour uses to calculate the PIP standings. Last season, the PIP standings were calculated with five factors in mind — Google searches, Meltwater mentions, social media reach, Nielsen score and Q-score. Moving forward, that formula will be a bit different. Q-score and social media reach have been nixed, and in their place the “awareness criteria” — a player’s ability to capture the awareness from the casual and core fan base — has been expanded.
4. The Tour is adding a “Top player” distinction
Any player finishing in the top 20 of the PIP standings will now be deemed a “top player.” In the new Tour model Monahan outlined, top players will commit to 20 events each season which have elevated status and elevated purses. Those include the four majors, the Players, eight additional “Elevated Events” and three more events of a player’s choosing. Players would still need to qualify for those events — but Monahan implied that if they weren’t qualified they’d make for some good sponsor’s exemptions, too. It pays to be in the PIP.