Pro Says New PGA Tour Changes Are 'A Kick In The Teeth'

Callum Tarren says the changes creating a two-tiered PGA Tour were "a kick in the teeth" for players like him, who have to play so many events to keep their card

Callum Tarren
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Callum Tarren says the recent PGA Tour changes were a "kick in the teeth" for players like him, after a hectic couple of years trying to cement his place in the big league over in America.

Speaking to Golf Monthly, the Englishman has chronicled the massive workload it has taken for him to keep his card, as he teed it up 61 times over his first two seasons on the PGA Tour.

That effort is what it takes for many players to retain their status, and as he casts an envious eye on the schedule and prize pots on offer in LIV Golf, Tarren feels the new PGA Tour changes and introduction of Signature Events has made things even harder for him.

"My first year, which was 2022, you are a rookie on the PGA Tour so you kind of have to play when you get your opportunities," Tarren told Golf Monthly recalling his schedule over the first two seasons.

"You’re not in all the big events, so I tried to play as much as I could and obviously keep my card, which I ended up doing. 

"And then last year I didn’t get off to the start that I wanted, so I think it forced me to maybe backload my schedule. So yeah, that’s why I played that many events."

After having his say on the new PGA Tour's new $3bn SSG deal, Tarren has now told us that there's now a two-tier system in America, which does not help him one bit.

"Obviously having a full card this year but the PGA Tour made the changes where you’ve got the elevated events and only certain guys who finish in the top 50 get in them. 

"It’s kind of crazy because I would love to be a player who plays 23 events, 22 events but as of right now I’m trying to prove myself and get to that point where I have the luxury of taking more time off. 

"The changes were kind of a kick in the teeth for me because it’s almost like you’ve got two tours now, you’ve got the PGA Tour with all the elevated events and Majors and all that fun stuff and then you have the guys who are outside of that, and I fall in that category unfortunately."

Callum Tarren plays an iron shot

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tarren was honest in his opinion of the LIV Golf format and prize money, which just by itself looks like a dream for golfers who have to plug away at many more events to stay afloat on the PGA Tour.

"Playing 15 events a year for the prize money they do, it’s incredible," he said of LIV Golf. "Three rounders, it sounds great.

"There is some pressure on but it’s not the same as trying to grind and keep your card on the PGA Tour week-in, week-out you know. It’s an interesting time in the golf world at the moment, so yeah it is, it’s crazy."

And like many others before him, Tarren's dream is to be successful enough to relocate himself and his family to the golfing hotbed around Orlando in Florida - which also had an airport close by providing easy access to flights back to England.

"Yeah it’s funny I was speaking to my fiance about this last night," he admitted. "Yes obviously we have a young family and she’s at an age where we’re gonna have to start looking at schools next year, so I think they’re gonna travel a little bit more to see how we can manage that side of it. 

"To see if they like it as a family but I think the ideal scenario for me would be to have my house in England and a house in America. I have a base in the US at the moment but it’s not a home, it’s just a base. But it’s a constant battle of just managing these things in your life, they’re good problems to have but it’s also very difficult at the same time."

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.