Moving days ahead for golf

johnhunt92 Roar Guru

By johnhunt92, johnhunt92 is a Roar Guru

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    For the first time in well over a decade, golf has a swagger about it in Australia. The golfing world has had its collective eyes on Sydney and Melbourne in the last fortnight and Australia’s golf administrators have to seize the momentum.

    This week has given golf in this country, a chance for the sport to elevate itself to the world. Since the Middle East and Asia came to golf with fans and cash, Australia’s golf tournaments have suffered despite being a cradle for the game.

    The Jacobs Creek Open, ANZ Championship, Heineken Classic and Johnnie Walker Classic have disappeared, while the Australian Open and Australian Masters have struggled for relevancy and sponsorship in the GFC world.

    But just when it seemed the malaise would continue, the Presidents Cup and the appearances of Tiger Woods have reinvigorated life into the Australasian PGA Tour. It is now time the tour struck the flaming hot iron.

    What golf can’t do, is go back to the days of many tournaments with big prize money because it just can’t work. Australian golf doesn’t have the time or resources to support lots of tournaments.

    What golf does have in this country is the Open, Masters and PGA, which the Australasian PGA Tour should build the Tour’s anticipation and credibility around.

    Also there is the New Zealand Open and potentially a Perth event, if the politics can be overcome.

    Give them adequate prize money and consolidate the dates to November and/or February, when there is a sporting void.

    The Australasian PGA Tour should use the huge ace we have in our deck to market our tournaments; that ace is our fantastic tournament golf courses.

    In an era where courses are designed for low scores, our golf courses are some of the best in the world. They make golfers think and reward them for good shots, but punish them for bad shots.

    Tiger Woods was heard to quip at the Presidents Cup that he wishes golfers played on courses like this all the time.

    Put these two together and suddenly, golf in Australia can be marketed to the world.

    Imagine this, the “Australasian Summer Swing” starts with the time-honoured Australian Open, whose past champions include Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.

    The swing moves to the Australian Masters, played around the Melbourne Sandbelt at arguably the best courses in the world.

    A sojourn across the ditch to New Zealand is then followed up by the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum, where good scores can be made.

    Sounds good doesn’t it?

    While we will never have the golfing world exclusively at our feet again, three of four quality tournaments here in Australasia can make the difference.

    The Presidents Cup crowds have shown there is an appetite for the sport in Australia; golf administrators should feed the hunger not in unsatisfying nibbles but in a few big meals.

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • November 20th 2011 @ 4:35pm
      Matt F said | November 20th 2011 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

      It sounds good but the reality is that without money you can’t attract the big name players. The Australian players almost always turn up, to their credit, but what is the incentive for a big name international golfer to come down? The PGA and European tour seasons are very long and the players have a limited off-season. The last thing they want to do is fly to the other side of the world to play in tournaments for very little prize money, at least when compared to other tournaments around the world. For all the stuff that Tiger has said about the quality of the courses, and he’s right they are magnificent, the main reason he’s been here the last 3 years has been big appearance fees.

    • Roar Guru

      November 21st 2011 @ 3:21pm
      langou said | November 21st 2011 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

      Good article

      I agree that we that we should limit the events, however I would love to see just one more major golfing event added to the Australia schedule I think we need to create a permanent event in Sydney. That way the Australian Open could be rotated around the country like a national open should. Imagine the excitement in Perth, Adelaide or even Tassie if for the first time in six or seven years the Australian Open came to their town. I think the big states would have no problem handling two major tournaments and it will give Queenslanders the chance to utilise their great courses outside of Coolum.

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