This weekend’s Ryder Cup in Rome may not have been the most thrilling event on the course, but it definitely made headlines off the field. Reports surfaced of a U.S. player almost being kicked off the team due to a protest, likely related to wanting more compensation. This sparked “rifts” among the players, with some demanding to be paid in cash for the week.
The revenue generated from the Ryder Cup is crucial for the growth and sustainability of the game. A breakdown of where the money goes reveals that it is not simply lining the pockets of wealthy individuals. Instead, it funds player pensions, programs for junior and college golf, as well as initiatives for inner city and international golf. Additionally, each player is given $200,000 for the charity of their choice, with half earmarked for golf-related causes.
On the other hand, when we compare this to the cash infusion from slot money in horse racing, the picture looks very different. Only a small percentage of the revenue goes towards supporting the retirement of horses, jockey and driver pensions, or trainer pensions. The majority of the money ends up in purses and in the hands of the corporations that own the racetracks.
The irony lies in the fact that the funds in horse racing that are used for purposes similar to those supported by the Ryder Cup—such as retirement and promotion—are taken from the betting dollar, not from the slot money.
The article concludes by questioning the impact of slot money in horse racing, highlighting the ways in which it fails to directly contribute to the growth of the sport. Ultimately, it poses the question of whether the players in the Ryder Cup, despite their demands for compensation, are doing more to grow the game than the slot money in horse racing.