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  • Writer's picturePiers Manktelow

Waiting for a plane = creating a golf tournament

Sometimes things take a strange moment to make you realise new thoughts. While waiting for a flight on Sunday night in Amsterdam sat in a bar they had the final round of the PGA golf on. The bar was full, and I seemed to be the only one really paying any attention to the golf. I love golf and could happily watch it on TV, however, I am golf mad and have played since I could walk. What first caught my attention was the lack of attention being shown by everyone else. Secondly if you ever watch a film without volume it only enhances how bad the acting is. Watching the golf without volume really enhanced certain aspects that maybe made me realise why it was not catching the interest of those around me.

Without volume it only enhanced the fact that most of the coverage was just showing slightly overweight men (with a few exceptions) walking around slowly prodding and poking greens and hitting the occasional shot. Obviously with volume it adds to the atmosphere. On the other hand, for the first time I could see why the group of 6 girls in their 20’s next to me were not slightly interested in the golf.

Anyway, the thought of what made this interesting to the stranger got me thinking so I asked the group of girls their opinions. None of them were interested in golf and only a couple in sport. The main point I picked up Is they knew nothing about golf. You easily forget there are people who don’t know/care about golf when you are surrounded by it 24/7. This got me thinking, you have to have a knowledge of something to like it or be interested.

On a trip to Le Touquet last year I was in a sports bar watching the Solheim Cup when a group of guys in their 20’s came in and ended up watching the golf as well. They were in Le Touquet on a golf holiday and interestingly had never watched women’s golf before. Within 2 minutes they all said “f@*@ me these girls are good”.

Anyway, to get to my labored point, to generate more interest and grow the game, more needs to be done to get more girls watching professional golf, and watching women’s golf. These girls now are extremely fit (just follow them on Instagram to see), but watching these men won’t inspire them. They need to see someone they can associate with. Even if it starts with highlights packages, or just make the sports headlines on the news. You can’t dream to be like your hero if you hardly see them. I would love to see a tournament held near one of the big cities in England with a set up similar to that this week on the PGA, a par 3 surrounded by stands. With food and drinks on offer a great atmosphere will be created providing a great night out for all. The main aims would be to show how good women’s golf is, how professional, dedicated and fit these girls are and to show that it can be just as interesting as men’s golf

This leads to the next point which is just like what we have seen in Australia this week, the need for a high-profile tournament where men and women play together. I know there are talks on the PGA to do this in a few years, but I feel there is no place that needs it more than a big European tournament. What could be better than watching a tournament of alternate groups of men and women play the same course at the same time competing for 2 different trophies. You effectively give the fans 2 for 1 and give the women’s game the much-needed exposure it needs/deserves. Also, maybe one day much like in Australia this week the women may become the main draw for fans!

Starting today, here at Golfista our goal is to make one of these events happen!

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