Moving the WGC to Mexico IS a great thing for golf

Think about the WGC-Mexico Championship this way: If the PGA Tour had merely decided to add a WGC event in Mexico. How would we be talking about that decision?

“Great for the game worldwide and even better for Mexico and Latin America!” everyone would be saying and all the scribes would be writing.

Instead, we’re focusing on the degree to which the Tour penalized Doral’s owner, Donald Trump, for any number of early campaign incendiary remarks. Also a focal point: the Tour’s inability to land a sponsor for the WGC event at Doral. And of course, folding these micro-narratives into the major narrative of “OMG! Golf is dying!”

Writing for Golf Digest, Tim Rosaforte rightly suggests that we ought to shift our focus when talking about the WGC-Mexico.

While the event is being propped up without a title sponsor by the Salinas family, Grupo Salinas’ seven-year pledge to underwrite the tournament will hopefully be enough time for the tournament to realize positive effects, both locally and with respect to the larger climate of Mexican golf in general.

As Rosaforte writes: “When I learned about the Salinas family involvement, the model that was pitched to me was on a broader scope than what Tom Cousins executed at East Lake G.C. and its surrounding neighborhood in Atlanta.”

If you’re unfamiliar, East Lake has had an immensely positive effect on a previously impoverished and left-for-dead region. It’s a true example of the fact that the PGA Tour patting itself on the back for its charitable facilitations can be truly warranted.

“We needed to get those super heroes down here to get the kids involved in the game,” Benjamin Salinas told Tim Rosaforte. “I thought the best way to go was bringing Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth [to Mexico]. That’s the main strategy.”

We’ll see the effect of the “superhero” strategy beginning this week. One thing is for sure, however, as Rory McIlroy routinely states: The World Golf Championship events ought to be global competitions conducted around the world. From that standpoint, the WGC-Mexico is an inherent good.