Theo Epstein played a major role in improving the MLB experience for fans watching both in the stadium and at home, and he might be able to do the same for PGA Tour golf fans.

It appears that’s the hope at least.

Golfweek reported earlier this month that Epstein, who joined Fenway Sports Group as a senior advisor in February, spoke at a PGA Tour Player Advisory Council (PAC) meeting at Hilton Head ahead of the RBC Heritage. Epstein returned to FSG with golf as part of the ever-expanding portfolio. FSG spearheaded a conglomerate of sports owners, Strategic Sports Group (SSG), that recently invested in the PGA Tour with the creation of PGA Tour Enterprises.

According to Golfweek, Epstein made a presentation at the PAC meeting about how MLB sought to change the sport and how it was presented to better suit the needs of fans.

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Speaking with NESN’s Tom Caron and The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier on the first episode of the “310 To Left” podcast, Epstein explained his potential role in doing something similar with the Tour.

“There’s a lot going on there now. It’s sort of the early innings, so I’ve spent a little time trying to get up to speed and get the lay of the land,” Epstein explained. “Try to call on my experience to provide some assistance wherever I can. I was part of the rule-change process at MLB, for example, with the pitch timer and other rule changes in 2023. Golf’s at a moment in time where they’re leaning into their future and thinking about where they can progress as a Tour and a sport. My experience with MLB might come in handy here or there just adding another perspective.”

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That might be exactly what golf needs at this point. The sport is in an uncomfortable spot at the moment with the creation and growth of LIV Golf leading to a bifurcation of the professional game. As the sport’s most important power brokers — the Tour, LIV, the Saudis, SSG — all work to get a framework merger agreement to the next stage, the Tour is dealing with sagging TV ratings. The product at times feels stale, and while there is no shortage of money in professional golf, the long-term prognosis is murky at best.

That should sound familiar to baseball fans.

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“I was really inspired by the hope and plan to make it better for the fans,” PGA Tour PAC member Max Homa said earlier this month, per Golfweek. “I think we hit this year-and-a-half or two-year rut as both golfers and golf leagues that was just about making the players happy, and unfortunately and quite obviously, the fans were not benefited by that.”

Speaking on “310 To Left” about where baseball can still evolve and improve, Epstein hit on something that can also be applied to golf.

“Left to their own devices, (MLB) clubs and players are going to seek to optimize performance,” he said. “That’s what they should do. GMs and players are paid to perform and win, not necessarily put the most entertaining product out there. That’s not their job.”

The golf world has been impacted by that thinking, too. Purse sizes have exploded in recent years and everyone wants a piece of the pie, especially with LIV tipping the scales. That also can be felt on the course, where pace-of-play issues are undeniable while sweeping changes to the actual golf product (for example, equipment changes) have been met with heavy resistance from the player-run PGA Tour.

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“I think as demonstrated by the commissioner with leadership in the 2023 rule changes, it is the job of central baseball to create an environment where incentives for those who compete — GMs, organizations, players — are essentially aligned in such a way that competing and optimizing within a certain structure also produces a great product,” Epstein said.

“Therefore, the competition is aligned with entertainment and provides a great product for the fans.”

Just switch out baseball for golf there, and it’s easy to see the parallels and how an innovative mind like Epstein could benefit the sport. Given the power dynamic in golf, where the players have a lot of power, it’s going to be a challenge. Ultimately, Epstein, SSG and the PGA Tour will need to show and convince players that what’s best for the fans is best for everyone in the long run.

“Theo’s point (about baseball) was very much that the genesis of the changes was fan-centered and that effective fan-centered changes mean the game wins which means the players win, too,” an unnamed player told Golfweek.

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You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more capable of impacting that sort of change than Epstein, whose track record speaks for itself.

Featured image via Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports Images