Third event of the 2016 year, and the first pro am of the year. All the good guys are across the world in Abu Dhabi, leaving the dredges of the PGA Tour to play with the random amateurs in the California Desert. That’s a decently pessimistic description of the event, but I’m not into sugar coating. Still plenty of storylines for the new year though with young guys looking to leave their mark on a controversial course, making this tournament worth the TV time.
About the Sponsor!
This was actually one of my favorite sections of the preview from last year, and I figure I’ll bring it back whenever we have a new sponsor.
In the ironies of all irony, turns out the CareerBuilder office is right next door to the place I’m starting work in two weeks. Unfortunately for you all, I’m too lazy to make the trip to downtown Chicago to take a picture of the building, or even get that interview with the CEO everyone’s been clamoring for. I’ll assume that the CEO is somewhere in California schmoozing with Bill Clinton and all the NBC crew and use that as my excuse.
I’m a fan of company names that make it easy for a person to figure out what they do. So big congrats to CareerBuilder on that front. Taken directly from their website is, CareerBuilder’s slogan / tagline, “Find the Right Job. Right Now.”
Even though I have a job lined up, I decided to take CareerBuilder’s job search for a spin. “Web developer in Chicago” turned up more than a few jobs. The first was for front end development for some company called Collabera, who I won’t talk about until they sponsor a PGA Tour event. Interesting is that my ad block detected and blocked 29 ads on that job listing page alone, but then I realized that the entire page was a giant ad, so ad block failed by displaying anything at all. No idea how up to date or real the listings are, but in a few minutes I found a job that I could conceivably take. So good job again CareerBuilder.
It really is amazing how many odd businesses are able to be title sponsors of PGA Tour events. You probably don’t think that a job listing site could generate enough money to validate a sponsorship, especially when they’re somewhat competing with Craigslist. However, finding the right person for the right job, right now is difficult. And companies pay big money to have that taken care of. So maybe it does make sense to sponsor a tournament.
None of the Top Players in the World
Shoutout to Abu Dhabi, the European Tour, and appearance fees that lured all the top players in the world away from the US for this week’s event in oil country. With a pairing that includes Spieth, Rory, and Rickie, that’s probably going to be more interesting to watch in terms of world ranking. And good golf for that matter.
Plus, these things!
Also, the time difference means when you’re out at the bar on Friday and Saturday, ask for the golf channel and you should be able to catch the end of the 3rd and 4th rounds late night.
Speaking of sponsors, this tournament is the reincarnation of the Bob Hope Classic from back in the day.
Searching for relevant pictures of Bob Hope at his tournament gave me a fantastic assortment of pictures of Hope with a golf club surrounded by young women with his name printed over their chests. Highlights below, but just search for “Bob Hope Classic” on google images and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Clearly I’m too young to know who Bob Hope was in his prime, but I bet he’d be proud that he is still known for hosting and being a part of this tournament.
Pros, not Ams
Instead of just subjecting the pros to play with amateurs on the Wednesday before a tournament, the Bob Hope has the Pros play with the Amateurs for the first three rounds of the tournament. There are a couple other tournaments on the schedule where this is the case, notably the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am coming up in a few weeks, but this is the first of the year.
According to the tournament’s info page, for a mere $29 grand, you can play in a PGA Tour event. Furthermore, this small price includes “A luxurious CareerBuilder Challenge gift package” as well as “Daily valet parking”. Quite the deal, especially considering that “$25,000 is tax deductible; please consult your tax advisor”. Also, good to know that you need a tax advisor, not just a tax preparer.
The amateurs probably aren’t going to get any TV time the first three rounds, but don’t be surprised if you see a kind of chubby white dude walking around the green with the other pros.
PGA West Stadium Course
With the infusion of amateurs, the tournament needs more than one course to get all the slow play around. Which means a three course rotation! Two of the courses aren’t really worth noting because they’ve been in the rotation for a while now. However, one of the courses, the Stadium Course, is worth mentioning.
Designed by Pete Dye to be somewhat of a compliment to TPC Sawgrass (both have Stadium in the name), it gained a reputation for being “too difficult” back in 1987 when the course was added to the tournament’s rotation. Being a Pro Am the players were used to easy setups (amateurs are not going to pay big money to consistently double or triple bogey a tough course). Take a look at the past champions list and the winning numbers are much lower than the usual PGA Tour event. Apparently the players were so annoyed with the layout that they successfully petitioned the PGA Tour to ditch the Stadium course from the rotation. A “ban” that has lasted until this year. I’m guessing that CareerBuilder told the players to get over their hatred for the course, or otherwise they should quit golfing and find a new job using CareerBuilder’s website. Just guessing how that all went down.
With the Clinton Foundation as a partner (whatever that means), and the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters conference (whatever that is) beginning the Monday after the event we can apparently expect an appearance by Bill at the trophy ceremony! As if anyone actually watches that.
For real though, let’s all take a moment to reflect on how great it is to be a former president. No matter how controversial your tenure was, as soon as you’re out of office and a new guy is getting all the heat and press, you turn into a straight up celebrity who gets hundreds of thousands of dollars for giving speeches. You get foundations named after yourself (meaning giant tax shelters), and cruise around chauffeured by dudes in sunglasses and suits. CareerBuilder should really push getting people the job of President if they want to one-up their competition.