Palmer Urges Senior PGA Reduction

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The Senior PGA Tour didn't have 24 tournaments until its fifth year in 1984. Arnold Palmer doesn't think it would hurt if the schedule returned to about that size.
 
'I think the senior tour has to create a little more demand, and that demand could be established by reducing the number of events,' Palmer said Tuesday from his winter office at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla.
 
There were 35 tournaments on the schedule this year, although tour spokesman Bob Combs said the target for 2003 is in the low 30s.
 
Golf World magazine said the number of events could be even lower, in the upper 20s.
 
'When we started the senior tour, the thought was 18 events was probably enough,' Palmer said. 'As you know, it grew very rapidly. The offer was there, and everybody accepted it. If a man plays good, he can make a living on the senior tour in 20 or 25 events. And I think there will be that many.'
 
Of greater concern to Palmer is television coverage.
 
The tape-delayed broadcasts on CNBC were a disaster. Next year, The Golf Channel will televise all the early round coverage, while CNBC and The Golf Channel will divide weekend coverage. Combs said all telecasts will be live.
 
'The Golf Channel would be a happy home for the senior tour,' said Palmer, a co-founder of the channel. 'People who watch The Golf Channel are golfers.'