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#1 Harambe

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 06:13 AM

Bruce,

Do you think that the Australian Tour has any real relevance these days? As a product it is pretty poor.

* Quality of fields is poor once you go beyond the top dozen or so. You could argue that 2/3 of the field are pro am players.
* TV coverage is horrid. Stunning SD and with terrible commentary. From what I saw on social media yesterday, Wayne Grady is almost universally panned. Where are the proper analysts? Nicknames FFS!
* They play on crap courses. LK and Metro are good. The Oz looks boring as bat droppings and is producing that kind of event. Royal Pines is a dull old resort track.

Where to from here? Would they be better off trying to co-sanction the Aus Masters and Aus Open with PGA Tour? Sure we lose 70 Australians out of the field but we would certainly get a better quality field, even if 50 were unknown to the average Joe.

And why isn't it on 7Two? If a FTA network is covering it, and we all have digital TV these days, there can't be a serious reason why they show sport (this isn't just golf btw) on their "main" channel.

Thanks in advance. I look forward to your thoughts.
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#2 bruce

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 07:59 AM

SMS there are just so many things that have influenced the current dynamic of tournament golf in Australia but I think it is also important that you consider the glass half full thought.

 

Sure the depth of the fields in Australia is not at that standard of say a PGA or European Tour event but when you consider how many of the leading players in the game have played here in recent years then we do get to see the elite of the game here. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter along with the likes of Adam Scott and Jason Day are but a few of the game's leading players who have graced our shores in recent years and that is not including the amazing Presidents Cup year.

 

Now none of those players are going to get out of bed to play an event such as the Australian Open just for the prizemoney - they require a financial incentive to be in Sydney or Melbourne or wherever and frankly who can blame them. Not sure what you do but if you were being offered several times the purse of the event just to tee it up then surely you would. There is no real incentive to fly across the world to play an event if you are already flush with money. McIlroy was reportedly paid A$1 million to be here this week and to a large extent he has been worth every cent in terms of pre tournament promotion and I imagine that is now at the lower end of his fee for events such as this.

 

Fortunately for us Adam Scott makes himself available to play and gives plenty of bang for his buck. Imagine our events this summer and last summer if Scott was not here. He is paid but again his presence has the capacity make or break and event at present.

 

While television helps golf it in some respects has worked against the Australian Tour in as much as these days every week we get to see television coverage of at least three events a week on our screens and often times many more.

To some extent we have become overexposed to coverage of the elite of the game so when the Tour hits Australian shores of course the viewing public are going to see it as the poorer cousin of the PGA Tour and the European Tour where in most cases the events are worth several times the money being played for in our events and the fields are significantly stronger because the players play those tours as their main source of income.

 

Pre cable television here in Australia we only got to see the majors so there was much more anticipation of the summer events and there was of course the Norman factor 

 

As far as the quality of courses I concerned I think the Australian is fine. Very demanding test of golf, well located and a good tournament venue logistically. I can not agree with you that it is boring and having been here all week I have enjoyed the test it offers. Agreed it is a departure from the Melbourne Courses but so is every golf course in the world.

 

The Australian might not be everyone's cup of tea but like all golf courses much of its degree of difficulty is dependant on the sea breezes but so too are many of the Melbourne courses. Remember Ernie's 60 at Royal Melbourne in perfectly good conditions and then him battling against a cool southerly two days later.

Any golf course under calm conditions and soft underfoot will fall victim to most fields of professional golfers.

 

Royal Pines is undergoing a major transformation half of which will be on view in two week' time. It might not suit everyone but RACV can only be congratulated for investing in change there. I agree it was very ordinary previously but I have seen the changes and although this year it is a case of being only 50% finished, when completed fully in 2015 it will be a much better course strategically and visually.

 

There is much more to the selection of a tournament venue than the course and I think when completed Royal Pines will offer an outstanding tournament home for many years to come and with the support of RACV the PGA should build nicely on the Gold Coast.

 

As for the television commentary and as someone who has had a bit of experience in it I agree that calling players by their nicknames or even first names is never something that I have done or agreed with. I think some times the coverage gets a bit 'blokey' especially considering events such as this are going to a world wide audience.

 

While television commentary is not rocket science it is not always a case of being able to say what you want to when you want to as you have to fit in with the amazing amount of stuff going on behind the scenes. I have always said that players should take the chance to sit in the production truck at an event and they will find it is like a duck on water meaning relatively smooth on the surface and yet a heap of activity and instructions going on in the background. That will give them a much better understanding of things and perhaps be not quite as critical as they can be.

 

As someone once said don't be too quick to criticise until you have walked in the shoes of the commentator. 

 

As far as the on course commentary is concerned many of the shots you see as being live are actually coming off a delay due to commercial breaks and that many shots across the golf course are being hit simultaneously and impossible to cover all at once so the on course commentator has to add another string to his bow in getting his timing right. Trust me it is a delicate process of collating the information, putting yourself in a position to talk then describing a shot you may have seen a three for four minutes earlier as if it is live. That is a skill in itself.   

 

I think we can safely forget about the Australian Open or Masters being co sanctioned with the PGA Tour. The relationship with the OneAsia Tour still mystifies me as their Order of merit is a pathway to nowhere. The money does admittedly provide a number of Australians unable to get status elsewhere to play for $180,000 first prize eight times a year (the PGA and the Open are under that umbrella but would survive without the co sanctioning with OneAsia)

 

As for Seven Two or whatever it is called I am not sure what it was shown on yesterday but it is frustrating that we did not get to see the finish of the last group yesterday. Those few minutes could yet determine the outcome of the event today.    

 

         

 

I             


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#3 Harambe

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 08:38 AM

Thanks for the reply Bruce. I'm heading to work shortly so I'll add more thoughts later.

I just wonder where the PGA of Aust see themselves in 10 years?

#4 bruce

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 09:03 AM

you mean the organisation or the event?



#5 Harambe

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 09:35 AM

you mean the organisation of the event?

Of the Tour.

#6 Shanks4ever

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 10:46 AM

It is a bit of a stretch to call it a tour with only 4 events and a few $100 - 130K events making up the tour.

 

One Asia and the Asian tour need to unite, Japan won't unfortunately. China needs to get rid off the US PGA tour events or Asia will be lost.

 

Grady is grating, comes across as a glass half empty guy and adds virtually nothing. 

 

The quality of the course does little to attract a quality field, US and European tour bear witness to that where it is simply which resort/course owner has the deepest pockets.



#7 Internationals2015

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:37 PM

From all reports the Perth International is gone, not sure yet if it's having a year off, or for good. The Masters is a year by year proposition, but hopefully the new Labour Government back it like the last.



#8 Shanks4ever

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 06:04 PM

Thailand Open on Asian tour in a weeks time for $1 million US includes defending champion Sergio Garcia, two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson, reigning US Open champion Martin Kaymer, Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood and Victor Dubuisson and South African legend Ernie Els.

 

Shows how much the stars think of Australia. 



#9 Internationals2015

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 06:49 PM

It is a bit of a stretch to call it a tour with only 4 events and a few $100 - 130K events making up the tour.

 

One Asia and the Asian tour need to unite, Japan won't unfortunately. China needs to get rid off the US PGA tour events or Asia will be lost.

 

Grady is grating, comes across as a glass half empty guy and adds virtually nothing. 

 

The quality of the course does little to attract a quality field, US and European tour bear witness to that where it is simply which resort/course owner has the deepest pockets.

 

Next season the PGA Tour of Aust will have the following tier 1 events

 

NZ Open $1M

Fiji Int $1M US

Aus Masters $1M ????

Aus Open $1.25M

Aus PGA $1M

 

Not the greatest, however the expected loss of Perth and it's near $2M prize fund hurts. The good news is that the Vic Open is expected to raise prize money closer to $250K-$500K in the next couple of years.



#10 Jamada

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 05:52 AM

I believe a lot of people watched the golf to see the Australian players. We naturally feel an affinity to them because they are Australian. I can watch the internationals week in and week out and while I enjoy that it gets a bit repetitive. Sure the "names" aren't coming down under but there sure is some good golf being played in these tournaments. After all these guys are all professionals and I am sure every club golfer would know some story about at least one of the players. They either came from their area or saw them play as a kid. Makes it all a bit more personal and adds an interest not there in the PGA. On Saturday morning there was more discussion about golf amongst the hackers than any other Saturday that I remember. It is what it is and even if nothing changes I am happy to follow it. As are many many others.
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#11 Shanks4ever

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 06:03 AM

I believe a lot of people watched the golf to see the Australian players. We naturally feel an affinity to them because they are Australian. I can watch the internationals week in and week out and while I enjoy that it gets a bit repetitive. Sure the "names" aren't coming down under but there sure is some good golf being played in these tournaments. After all these guys are all professionals and I am sure every club golfer would know some story about at least one of the players. They either came from their area or saw them play as a kid. Makes it all a bit more personal and adds an interest not there in the PGA. On Saturday morning there was more discussion about golf amongst the hackers than any other Saturday that I remember. It is what it is and even if nothing changes I am happy to follow it. As are many many others.

Agree with you from my point of view from club land but it is star power the media is attracted to which gets the coverage and public interest and probably grows the game.


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#12 BarnEsy05

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 10:11 PM

As for the television commentary and as someone who has had a bit of experience in it I agree that calling players by their nicknames or even first names is never something that I have done or agreed with. I think some times the coverage gets a bit 'blokey' especially considering events such as this are going to a world wide audience.

 

While television commentary is not rocket science it is not always a case of being able to say what you want to when you want to as you have to fit in with the amazing amount of stuff going on behind the scenes. I have always said that players should take the chance to sit in the production truck at an event and they will find it is like a duck on water meaning relatively smooth on the surface and yet a heap of activity and instructions going on in the background. That will give them a much better understanding of things and perhaps be not quite as critical as they can be.

 

As someone once said don't be too quick to criticise until you have walked in the shoes of the commentator. 

 

As far as the on course commentary is concerned many of the shots you see as being live are actually coming off a delay due to commercial breaks and that many shots across the golf course are being hit simultaneously and impossible to cover all at once so the on course commentator has to add another string to his bow in getting his timing right. Trust me it is a delicate process of collating the information, putting yourself in a position to talk then describing a shot you may have seen a three for four minutes earlier as if it is live. That is a skill in itself.   

 

I think we all know the solution to commentary problems, Bruce. surprised-snake-smiley-emoticon.png


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#13 blacksnake

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 04:23 AM

I think we all know the solution to commentary problems, Bruce.

 

Yeah just give BS a phone  call.

Say No More.

BS :D  :D  :D :D  :D  :D . 

 

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#14 Internationals2015

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 03:39 PM

The latest out of Fiji is that Government opposition aren't pleased with the investment into the Fijian International (cost $12M). If this event ends after its initial 5 year deal, which I expect it will, then the local tour could face shrinking back into the dark days of the late 2000's.

 

I'd hope that the PGA of Aust could be a little more forward thinking in how it develops its events. After all, it's one thing to say it's hard, but another to face the challenges and come out the other side looking stronger.

 

The LPGA was nearly a basket case but a few years ago, new direction has seen the Ladies tour swell in event numbers and increase the prize pool by millions.

 

It is possible!!



#15 Harambe

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 05:35 AM

Sad to see that the Tour has actually gone backwards from last year.

One less event.
Poorer fields.
Poorer courses.

Currently watching the Hero World Challenge and what appears to be a fairly ordinary course is certainly compensated by having a high quality field.

Even the Ho Tram Open looks more entertaining.

Would Australian events get better fields if they played in January? It just seems that everything about Australian events is done on the cheap. You only need to go to an Australian event to see how few cameras are actually on-site.




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