14x PGA Tour Winner Hal Sutton Mourns ‘Greedy’ State of Pro Golf: ‘I Thought Legacy Meant Something’


Are rapid changes taking place in the world of golf? The answer is yes! One of the driving factors behind the changes happens to be the good old money. Some might hold the disruptive league for the exponential rise in money matters, as since its inception, LIV Golf has proposed higher and heftier prize purses for the players. How could its rival just sit idle? Soon, the PGA Tour went on to elevate many of its prize purses.
Take THE PLAYERS Championship, for example. Three years ago, the event offered $15 million for the field. Cut to this year’s edition, the TPC Sawgrass saw an increase of $10 million in the prize purse and ended up being a whopping $25 million. Although elevated purses may enhance a player’s way of life, for veteran pro-Hal Sutton, the cascade of currency in the sport is doing more harm than good.
Hal Sutton takes a dig at pros playing for money
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In a recent radio episode of On Tap with Brian Katrek and John Maginnes at the Sirius XM PGA Tour, 14-time PGA Tour winner and veteran golfer Sal Sutton did not shy away from giving his honest reaction to the state of the game. The influx of money into it has made it almost unknown to Sutton, He said, “I don’t even know if I know what golf is about anymore.”
Having played for more than two decades, Sutton’s definition of playing was different than what it stands for now. He relayed how it changed from being about legacy to money, “I thought legacy meant something, and everybody is proving me wrong, it’s all dollars.” Sutton further explained that when the prize purses were smaller, even then, he felt that he was paid adequately. However, these days, Hul Sutton believes, nobody “feels like they’re paid adequately anymore.”
The 65-year-old pro asserted that he didn’t play golf because of money but just to make a living. Sutton reasoned for the love he has for golf and said, “I played because I loved it, I played because I liked to compete. I mean, it’s obvious that these people are playing because they like money now, and that hurts my feelings.”
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In all, Sutton did not seem satisfied with the pace at which the golf world has been moving and in which direction it has been heading. The 14-time PGA Tour winner at first was upset with players only being money-oriented but later, also shared his frustration with the PGA Tour’s lack of charity plays.
Hul Sutton disappointed with the PGA Tour
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The Shreveport native has never left the greens in the last two or more decades. After retiring from the PGA Tour, Sutton now plays at the PGA Tour Champions. Being always connected to the game, Hal Sutton has witnessed the changing landscape of the golfing greens. Sutton pointed out the irony, as according to him, even though in recent years there have been waves of riches introduced in the PGA Tour, there has also been a steady decline in the charity that was done by the American circuit.
Talking about the Jay Monahan-led circuit, Sutton recounted the times he used to play on the Tour, saying, “We used to hear charity mentioned all the time.” But these days, as he made a comparison of the two periods, the 65-year-old exclaimed, “You hardly ever hear charity anymore.” Furthermore, he then remembered the PGA Tour’s frequent charity programs and how he was eager to participate in it and iterated, “The Tour was proud of how much money was been given to charity. You know, I wore out two hips in the left knee walking to that fame of charity.”
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The PGA Tour had always boasted of being a league that had a vast legacy and where players played for things larger than golf. However, as the recent scenario goes, though the legacy stays, the major highlight has been improving the money invested, more so as the PGA Tour signed the deal with SSG and may soon sign another contract with PIF. Will Sal Hutton’s grievance change anytime soon? It will remain to be seen.


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