November 10, 2023 3 min read


Alex Miceli Argues for PGA Tour Players’ Right to Casual Golf Bets

The media personality emphasized the long-standing tradition of gambling in golf and argued that small bets enhanced the enjoyment of the game without threatening its integrity

In a provocative take during SI Golf’s Bad Takes Week, journalist Alex Miceli has suggested that PGA Tour players should be allowed to make casual wagers on golf events. Miceli proposed a limit of $100 for players, noting that the sum represented a psychological threshold. Although his proposal is hypothetical, it draws attention to golf’s sometimes contentious relationship with gambling.

Golf and Betting Have a Long-Shared History

The issue of sports wagering by athletes came to the forefront as Miceli argued for a pragmatic approach, setting a monetary threshold to ensure that bets remain small and for entertainment. He noted that gambling has been intertwined with the fabric of golf since its inception, and the PGA Tour should adapt its policies to reflect this reality.

Betting less than a C-note on golf is just plain fun, and no one is trying to get rich, just entertained.

Alex Miceli

Referencing research by Stanford University and the Journal of Gambling Studies, Miceli contended that gambling was predominantly a form of entertainment. He suggested that rather than restricting this aspect, the PGA Tour should acknowledge and accommodate it within reasonable limits, allowing athletes to enjoy its social side. Miceli argued that small bets would cause harm or compromise match integrity.

The journalist invoked the historical presence of gambling in golf, citing Old Tom Morris, widely regarded as one of the sport’s most famous historical figures, as an example. Miceli noted that Morris often placed wagers on golf challenge matches, advocating that present-day players should be allowed the same privilege. 

The PGA Regularly Engages with Operators

Recent suspensions of Korn Ferry Tour players Jake Staiano and Vince India sparked controversy as many fans noted that their harsh punishments did not reflect the severity of their transgressions. India will have to skip the game for six months, while Staiano’s penalty is milder and will only extend for three months.

Miceli questioned the irony of a Tour with an Integrity Program banning player gambling while maintaining official relationships with multiple betting operators. Staiano and India’s relatively minor bets on golf events led Miceli to advocate for a more lenient stance, accusing the PGA Tour of acting as a “fun police.” 

The PGA Tour needs to lighten up and allow a fundamental tenet of the game to proceed for everyone- including its own players.

Alex Miceli

By proposing a $100 limit, Miceli aims to strike a balance between allowing players to engage in a tradition of the game while ensuring that the integrity of golf remains intact. Despite his good intentions, his intentions are unlikely to gather momentum as wagering scandals in other sports have caused a shift in public sentiment, condemning all gambling from professional athletes.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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