BOSTON, Mass – Ladies & gentlemen. Boys & girls! Brace yourself for an impact on golf that’s sure to stir controversy.
Will it grow the game? Will it generate new players? Will it engage the attention of casual observers of the game? Will it compromise the integrity of the sport? Will it lead to an expensive weekly habit like scratching losing lottery tickets?
The impact involves two words: “legalized gambling.” Last year a Supreme Court ruling struck down a federal act prohibiting gambling in most states.
Legalized gambling is here and corporate America is invading the golf industry with the intention of making millions in profits by proposing weekly betting odds on the worlds’ best professional golfers.
Is it a good thing or a fun & expensive hobby? Only time will tell.
NBC Sports has launched its newest free-to-play game – Golf Pick ‘Em – available exclusively on the NBC Sports Predictor games app. Powered by Boom Fantasy, Golf Pick ‘Em will feature two weekly contests with cash prizes and a $100,000 grand prize in the season-ending FootJoy $100,000 Championship in August.
“With the 2019 golf season in full swing, introducing Golf Pick ‘Em to NBC Sports Predictor is a great complement for fans to tune-in and immerse themselves in the competition every week,” said Jon Kropp, GOLF Channel vice president of digital media.
“We believe the FootJoy $100,000 Championship will be an amazing opportunity for golf fans,” said Stephen A. Murphy, chief executive officer of Boom Fantasy. “Over 100,000 Premier League fans have already played on NBC Sports Predictor, and we look forward to providing a great gaming destination for golf fans.”
Golf Pick ‘Em will feature two contests each week – a Thursday through Sunday game and a Sunday-only game, each with $1,500 up for grabs. NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide.
Starting on Mondays, fans get to pick from six head-to-head matchups, predicting which player will shoot a lower score for that week’s tournament, along with picking a tournament champion and the champion’s final score. For the Sunday-only game, fans get to pick from six head-to-head matchups based on the leaderboard heading into the final round.
Top scoring fans from both games each week will earn entry into the season-ending FootJoy $100,000 Championship, a three-week contest in August concluding with the TOUR Championship. When an Foot Joy player wins during the season, the contestants of that week in Golf Pick ‘Em will be entered into a random drawing for a FootJoy prize pack.
GOLF Channel’s editorial team will provide custom content within the NBC Sports Predictor app breaking down the weekly contest matchups.
Golf Pick ‘Em is the second game to be released on the NBC Sports Predictor app. In December, NBC Sports launched the app with the debut of Premier League Pick ‘Em, highlighting five matches during each match week.
Each player must be at least 18 years old. Other restrictions may apply.
This week the PGA TOUR announced a change to their gambling policy following last year’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a federal act prohibiting gambling. The new policy covers endorsements deals players are allowed to make with gambling companies as well as additional regulations for sponsorship with companies that offer marijuana products, which are not allowed.
The primary adjustments deal with gambling and casino endorsements. Under the old rules these sponsorships were not allowed. The exceptions to the old regulations included deals with casinos “if the sponsorship focuses on non-gambling aspects of the resort” and these deals could not include the word “casino.”
According to Golf Channel lead analyst Brandel Chamblee golf is statistically the hardest sport to pick a winner because the talent level is so close. He claims the degree of difficulty of picking a winner in weekly golf events is about 3 percent compared to other sports like football & baseball which is about 7 percent.
Here’s a kudo to Kenny Rogers famous line: “Know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.”