WHEN GOLF COMES BACK…….
Entertainment and Education; a cocktail of brilliance.
Golf at its best, when it’s entertaining, is a combination of drama, excitement and climax.
Golf at its worst is nothing more than predicable mundane player autonomy.
Today I practised tennis with my daughter who we are aligning to attend Duke on a scholarship. On the court next to us were four ladies at least over the age of 67.
Between games and sets I sat, drank my water and watched these aged warriors competing. And I mean competing.
The word ‘shit’ flew about so many times after one of these grannies messed up, it was compelling viewing.
A ‘shit show’ no less.
What became apparent was this:
- Due to their lack of dexterity, they had to be intrinsically cleverer and extrinsically more skilful.
- It was a battle between mistakes, brilliant shots and failed heroic actions.
- It was compelling due to its result variability.
The driver and the ball have taken away, stripped away, the entertainment value of the game.
It’s time we brought back result variability.
There’s no evidence to show the players since 2015 swing it any better than in the 1990’s but there is plenty of evidence that driving distance is up and courses, once great courses, are becoming impotent.
Has there ever been a survey to ask golf viewers what it is about the game that turns them on?
I doubt it would be a controlled facile drive of 330 yards.
I would have paid to watch those ladies do battle.
THE EUROPEAN TOUR – ENTROPY BEFORE OUR EYES
When I turned professional in 1990, the PGA South Region was a vibrant well of golf professionals who were in the game for the love but also because they could damn well play.
It wasn’t unusual for the PGA South Region (and the Scottish Region) to create players of such skill that they would regularly qualify for the European Tour in October of every year.
East Sussex National, Walton Heath, Sunningdale, Wentworth, The London Club and Hankley Common were the courses we’d play during the season. Great courses, European Tour Events no less, were used to play some great events.
Along with those key venues came incredible sponsorship and prize funds. It was lightning in a bottle for a four month period.
But alas, the PGA South Region started to take the piss. They lessened the prestige of the venues but alas tried to retain the generous sponsors.
Gone were the Royal St. Georges and in came dog tracks like Springfield Park located next to a London mental hospital – authors note: one time playing an event there, the sirens sounded and the patients escaped running through the course in their nightgowns – we were understandably nervous.
The sponsors fled as the venues became frankly laughable.
The European Tour must model the early days of the PGA South Region going forwards or, it will be bought by the PGA Tour who has already purchased the Canadian Tour, The Latino Tour and the PGA Tour China.
Entropy is a term which describes a lack of predictability the further something moves from your control. Another way to look at it is in the example of an egg. When you hold an egg in your hand it’s nice and neat, contained. The moment you smash it apart it’s near on impossible to recollect and re assemble it to its original state.
For the European Tour, that original state is the Rolex Series because even before the Corona Virus, it was far too widespread and frankly unimportant at the fringes.
Too much golf is another way to slice this…
If it wants to retain anything after COVID-19 has been conquered, this is where the tour needs to start.
With the possible exception of the Middle East swing, everything needs to go, cut away, so again it becomes more manageable, more city centric and more attractive to bigger and better sponsors.
TESTING KITS FOR MAJORS FOR HIGHEST VIEWING FIGURES
If I were the PGA Tour / USGA / RANDA I would be preparing testing kits for the players with a view to the three remaining Majors actually going ahead (I say ‘actually’ because who the hell knows?)
While there has been no ‘joint’ announcement ….as in concert, its unlikely fans will be able to attend, and rightly so.
It doesn’t mean that the TV heads cannot be incredibly creative with these planned tournaments; there are still many features not implemented for the viewing public that need to be.
When you HAVE to evolve, new horizons and perspectives appear.
Stay Distanced and