(Q) Why don't the PGA and LPGA tours play the same courses?
(A) Monday night's Battle at Bighorn, pairing Tiger Woods (left) and Annika Sorenstam (right) against David Duval and Karrie Webb, offered the rare sight of PGA and LPGA tour golfers playing the same links. Indeed, the tours share only one course—Doral's Blue Monster, which hosts the PGA Tour's Genuity Championship and the LPGA's Office Depot event. Why only one? There are as many reasons as there are clubs in Ian Woosnam's bag.
First, there are course requirements: While LPGA courses average 6,300 yards, and the events draw 20,000 people a day, PGA Tour sites average 7,000 yards and must handle crowds three times as large. "A whole range of golf courses can work for the LPGA that could not work for the PGA Tour," says Mark Hersch, tournament director for the LPGA's Michelob Light Classic in Eureka, Mo.
Further, many courses don't want more than one event a year. Augusta National, for example, is open to members from mid-October to May; adding a tournament would either deprive members of another week or disrupt summer maintenance. In the case of a public course like Pebble Beach, which charges $350 per round, eliminating a week of play can mean more than $500,000 in lost revenue. Says Mike Hayes, director of golf at Randolph North in Tucson, an LPGA site that also hosted a PGA Tour event until 1987, "It's all about dollars."