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The Australian Open Golf cancelled again, ostensibly due to the ongoing Covid pandemic uncertainty effecting international travel. Whilst there is certainly validity in this reason for the cancellation it must be said that the presentation of the Australian Open Golf Championship has been underwhelming for many years. Golf in Australia at the highest level has sucked in terms of tournaments as a celebration of this great golfing nation. I know that we are a small fish in a big pond in relation to the markets and populations in the US, Europe, and Asia, but poor strategic decisions have compounded these geographical and economic considerations.

9 Million Aussies Currently Interested in Golf

Domestically the promoters of top line professional golf tournaments have failed to attract the kind of sponsorship necessary to compete against the tyranny of distance. Golf is a very popular participation sport in Australia. According to figures provided by the Australian Golf Industry Council around 9 million Aussies are interested in golf. Why with so much interest in the game can’t we attract serious sponsorship for our tournaments in this country? BHP, Toyota, The Big Four Banks, The Australian Federal Government where are you all when it comes to sponsoring golf? We have so many world class golfers of both sexes competing around the globe. We have a plethora of young emerging talent coming up locally. Aussies love golf, with golf clubs currently experiencing record membership levels.

We Need More Local Golf, Not Less, On Our Screens

The football codes in Australia attract plenty of sponsors and they generate large ticket sale and membership revenue streams to boot. There is a direct correlation between frequency of matches and a strong public profile for these sports. The less often we see our golf tournaments the harder it will be to attract sponsorship and media coverage. It does not seem that the right people have been at the forefront of golf promotion in this country, if they are to be judged by their results. There seems to have been a going gracefully into the night mentality among these folk, as we have all watched local professional golf die on our screens in this nation. It has all been too hard for these administrators and directors to successfully put on golf tournaments in Australia for many years now. Remember the Australian Masters? Remember the local edition of the Players?

Team Golf Could Be The Answer

We need to see more golf, more local topline competitive golf on our TV screens weekly, rather than the occasional Aussie Open or PGA once every few years. We need to build a consumer appetite for the game showcasing the best of the domestic talent in exciting new formats. Perhaps, team golf events based on the appetite for college golf in the US and the Ryder Cup internationally. We need sponsors to get behind this golf revolution and TV networks, both Fox and free to air to show it. In the spirit of creating the kind of Australia we want to live in, taking a leaf out of our recent insular focused pandemic experience, let us pump energy and investment into growing our own golfing sport’s Mecca at home. It will take passion and bravery, which the current golf administrators in this country may not possess. A new drive and vision is needed to see beyond the myopic failures of the past. Let’s make golf exciting in Australia, rather than a forgotten backwater. Leadership is required and not just following the pack. Who dares?


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