Tiger Woods winning his first major in a decade and earning himself another green jacket during this year’s Masters was the biggest story to happen in the golf world since…. well, since Tiger’s unceremonious fall from grace a decade ago. It’s been a remarkable ride of redemption, and one figured that storyline would drive up general interest in golf for at least a few months.
That doesn’t appear to be the case–or at least in regards to people’s interest in attending golf events. As Darren Rovell has pointed out, the ticket prices are notably low for this year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.
The PGA Championship changed from being the last major of the year to the second this season. The move from August to May could play a role, but with the biggest name in golf (Tiger) playing in the biggest market in the United States (New York) it is surprising to see ticket prices so low.
This isn’t just Rovell shouting into the abyss as he is prone to do. According to VividSeats, the average price of tickets sold leading up to the 2019 PGA Championship is down nearly 20% in comparison to the 2018 PGA Championship. There are still four days for those numbers to change, but it’s unlikely they change enough to alter the overall trend.
If you want to attend the last day of this year’s PGA Championship, the average price you’ll find is $131, while last year you would’ve had to fork over $166 (Tiger finished second in that tournament). In 2018, it would’ve run you $111 dollars to attend the first round on Thursday. This year? Only $88. It’s a substantial decrease that is especially surprising because of Tiger’s Masters win dominating sports headlines, even weeks after the fact.
This week will show if these numbers are an accurate portrayal of the average fan’s interest in attending a live golf event. Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that while everyone is still interested in Tiger, most would rather watch at home and wouldn’t consider paying triple-digit figures (no matter how relatively cheap) to go to Farmingdale, New York and see him live in colder temperatures (50-60s in New York this year). If that’s the case, the big wigs in the golf industry may start getting concerned about changing the time of the PGA Championship. If the biggest storyline of the year involving golf’s biggest star can’t inspire fans to attend events, what can?