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Fines and behavior on the PGA Tour

Here's a great column by John Feinstein about fines on the PGA Tour. Fines are imposed for slow play, profanity, and other infringements of tour rules. They are not publicly announced, but are apparently not uncommon. Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem argues that "there's no need for us to publicize every transgression that occurs. It might give the public an incorrect image because, in truth, most of our players are gentlemen."

But I agree with some of the golfers quoted in the story, who argue that some fines should be announced publicly. The reason is simple: the monetary impact of some fines have basically zero impact on behavior. The potential impact of publicity on endorsement contracts might actually affect behavior, which is the point of enforcing rules in the first place.

That's the economics of the piece. But the real reason to read it is that it's hilarious, and you'll laugh out loud at some of the stories.