Competing for audiences


Hey, did you see the cycling World Cup a few weeks ago? It was great to watch Britain continue to take gold medals: five in total. Even more exciting to witness the stars of tomorrow, such as the 21-year-old Emily Kay, stepping into the lime light, while some of our Olympians were taking a well-earned rest.

But to me there was something else to take note of. The sport’s governing body was experimenting with new race formats specifically design to excite the audience. Their objective, no doubt, to fire up potential new entrants to the sport. A much-needed task for the golf industry.

In recent times, not only have we seen cycling taking this approach but also hockey at the Olympics, Cricket with their 20/20 format and Rugby Union with their Rugby 7’s. These changes across many traditional sports are all designed to increase its entertainment value and in most instances, reduce the time to play!

Is it time that golf’s governing body took a similar approach? Stopping their inward gaze at the minutiae of the game and instead concentrating on more exciting events that attract new audiences and, in turn, get new players out on the course.

National team events, as demonstrated by the recent Davis and Ryder Cups, get media attention and fire up an audience. Should consideration be given to a Golf World Series? How about something along these lines:

  • Event staged four times a year culminating in a final
  • Use a team format involving both men and women, or a mixed format similar to tennis. The latter encouraging more women (a massive potential market) to play.
  • A variety of different play formats; singles, four-ball or foursomes.
  • A bloody big trophy to win at the end!

Not saying I have all the answers but I do think that all those involved in the industry should be pushing for a bit of change to make a great game even greater…Food for thought!

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