Wait, can this be true? Is Tiger Woods really worth $15 billion to the golf industry?
According to Golf.com's Josh Sens that number is in the ballpark.
"According to Brad Adgate, senior vice president and director of research for Horizon Media, a New York-based media services company, the 25-30 percent ratings drop we're accustomed to seeing at Tiger-free events threatens to translate into similar percentage losses across the board."
"Adgate and other analysts say it's impossible to a put a precise price tag on Tiger's absence. But if we do the math and arrive at a ballpark number in a golf industry valued at around $68.8 billion, it pencils out at roughly $15 billion. Gulp!"
I don't know where this math comes from (though the $68.8 billion is a 2011 number) -- Sens doesn't explicitly lay it out -- but it's fairly clear that whatever the number, golf will see a downtick sans Tiger.
So whether it's $15 billion or $15 million we can collectively say that Tiger is good for golf in 2014. That slack in the rope will need to be made up over the next few decades if the sport wants to maintain it's current buoyancy.