Originally Posted by Dave242
What if the TD simply provided the venue, administration, scoring and reporting for a nominal fee? There would be no payouts (maybe small trophy), and the only reward was the competition, camaraderie, and seeing one's score/rating online. ......And then, another person ran an optional side-bet game at the event.
This is already available, in a roundabout way. TDs can allow players to play "trophy only" at a reduced entry, while everyone else plays for prizes. Rarely do TDs offer this, and very rarely does anyone ask to play "trophy only", at least around here.
To a large degree the structure is run by the players---the customers. As Mashnut already said, TDs want players to come, and thus do what players want. Or what we think they want. A TD (or the PDGA) is free to impose a less-popular format, but players are free to not attend or go to other events with the Am payouts they want.