The Niggle: Should there be more Tour events in Britain?October, 2015
After a seven year hiatus the British Masters is back on the calendar we discuss why there should be more British based Tour events
Woburn sees return of the British Masters, but should we have more events in England? How likely would you be to go?
Scotland has some stellar events as part of the European Tour schedule, but what about the rest of Britain? Why are we starved of the golfing action?
With a decline in golf club memberships, the European Tour’s Keith Pelley will be looking to attract a raft of new fans with the inclusion of the event on the schedule.
But do we have enough events for the avid golfing fan to consume on these British Isles? The NCG team discuss if we need an increase in home events…
DW: Maybe with a little more TV coverage – events like the PGA EuroPro and Challenge Tour would be right up many golf fans streets – there are professionals Tours!
The standard isn’t a million miles away – subjective – and might even get some younger fans involved in the sport.
It might even give courses that feature a little boost.
JS: The lack of golf events in England is poor but unless decent sponsors front up some substantial cash we will continue to see more events in Asia or Eastern Europe with pathetic crowds on golf courses no one has heard of.
The European Tour may as well change its name as there are more and more events outside of Europe these days.
It’s a shame. There was a real buzz at Wentworth this year with great crowds and a great field.
That’s what it’s like on the PGA Tour every week. It’s no surprise that the aim of most players is to secure a PGA Tour card.
More events in England or the UK in general would be great and could inspire more youngsters to take up the game. A bit more golf on terrestrial TV would help too but that’s another issue.
With the British Masters and the Paul Lawrie Match Play we’ve had two extra events this year so let’s hope it’s a sign of things to come.
DM: Over the last decade we’ve had regular playings of the Irish, Welsh and Scottish Opens but no English Open. That just seems weird – why can’t England manage to host a national open?
In recent years, when the Open has been in Scotland, the only tournament stop in England has been the PGA at Wentworth. It’s a far cry from the days when there were events at the likes of Fulford, Woburn, and Forest of Arden.
It’s great to see the British Masters come back but at a time when all the best European players are based on the PGA Tour it’s an uphill struggle.
As we move towards a world tour – officially or otherwise – it seems to me that the European Tour needs to find a way to create a ‘swing’ in the British Isles around the Open.
We already have the Scottish Open the week before and you wonder if this stretch might one day also include the Irish Open and an English Open.
It’s a shame, because the British sporting public will always turn out in numbers to watch top-class sport.
KH: Will the British public show up to watch golf? The Open was £80 a day. That’s no small change.
I hate to reduce this niggle down to just brass tacks, but golf has a limited audience and that audience wouldn’t be able to afford to go to every event.
So the fact is, even when the Tour is in England, most people prefer to watch it on TV anyway, because you can actually see what’s going on and follow all the action.
Can anyone honestly say they had the option to head up to the Open but decided not to, so they could enjoy it better on television?
So, if everyone’s going to watch it on telly anyway, then you might as well send the tour off to Dubai, South Africa and the likes, where you can guarantee the event won’t be interrupted by inclement weather, thus allowing the Tour to make better promises to its sponsor.
It’s a technique that’s worked – I was looking at the amount of money Peter Oosterhuis earned when he won the Order of Merit four times in a row, and it amounts to just £66,000. Could you imagine that today?
Nope, because the European Tour is a worldwide event, and it should stay that way
WHAT DO YOU THINK? WOULD YOU PAY TO SEE MORE BRITISH BASED EVENTS? OR WOULD YOU BE MORE LIKELY TO WATCH EVENTS ON THE BRITISH ISLES? HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW