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#16 cazandpaul

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 11:34 PM

James,

Don't think I'm going soft but I agree with you once again.

Put our best tournaments on at the best courses and hope the overseas players might extend their trip to play a few others at courses we know are better than others around the world but are unknown outside Australia.

How many courses are there on the sandbelt that would you would rate higher than those played regularly on the PGA & EPGA Tours? All of them?

I would rate some of the courses here on the Gold Coast better than those tours.

How many Americans do you think would be prepared to play RM/NSW back to back? Too hard?

Regards

Paul



#17 james

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 12:07 AM

cazandpaul,

I havn't played golf in America, but the PGA Tour does not even come close to visiting their best courses. From the television, I'd say that Sawgrass, Colonial, Pebble and Riviera are pretty good , and the rest are very very forgettable. You're probably right that the Gold Coast courses eclipse them. Part of the problem is the course setups: soft greens render the course designs useless. The pros fly wedges into every hole and stop the ball in their pitch mark.

Remember that the great American courses used to hold tournaments: money, facilities and politics have changed this. For example, Cypress Point was a Pebble Pro-Am stop until the Shoal Creek controversy in 1990.

The only decent courses we see the Tour play are at the majors: Augusta, some of the Open courses, and the occasional PGA course. Such a shame considering the wonderful courses they have - lots of them. Unfortunately, those courses don't have the facilities to host a tournament, let alone a major. (one American told me that to hold an Open or PGA now, you need at minimum two courses worth of space just to hold the marquees, media tents etc). Incredible.

On the sandbelt, I'd guess that Royal Melbourne (both courses), Kingston Heath, Victoria, Metropolitan, Commonwealth, Woodlands, Yarra, Huntingdale, Peninsula (both courses) and Spring Valley are all better designs than the week-to-week tour stops.

Might not get many Americans, but at least it makes the proposition more attractive. We know that we can't offer them huge prizemoney, so we have to offer them something else, something different. I'm sure that some of the pros would enjoy playing two of the world's top 50 courses back to back. I don't think its an issue of the courses being too hard, rather, its a long way to go during their summer break.

Once upon a time, the Australian Open was the fifth major: the world's top players competed because of the events prestige. I'm sure that the golf courses back then contributed to that prestige. It's sad that money has now become the main determinant in where these guys play. It's all summed up by Tiger Woods saying that there were "a million reasons" why the WGC event last week was more important to him than the Ryder Cup".



#18 james

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 12:15 AM

On another note Paul, nobody should assume that I'm advocating no tournaments for the Gold Coast. Rather, the ANZ Tour should be reduced to a shorter schedule with 8-10 tournaments, held on only the best courses.

eg.
*Australian Open (rotating nationally)
*Heineken Classic (Melborrne)
*Ericsson Masters
*that tournie at Lake Karrinyup
*a big one at The Lakes or Australian or NSW, or RS (who wouldn't be interested!)
*another Sydney tournament
*tournament rotating b/w Royal Adelaide and Kooyonga
*big Qld tournament rotating b/w Gold Coast (eg. Glades, Hope Island) and RQ
*New Zealand Open
*another in NZ (ensure that Paraparaumu hosts one tournament each yr).

A schedule like this would mean that greater prizemoney can be offered at each tour stop, there are no "filler" events, and that the big names are here for a higher proportion of the season. The present model is not sustainable long-term: as we're seeing through sponsor withdrawel etc.



#19 cazandpaul

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 02:15 AM

James,

You have obviously thought about this long and hard - if your itinerary is to work it would need to run November - February to fit in with o/s tours.

What does the average Aussie pro do for 8 months - you cannot survive on pro-ams and they need the "filler" tournaments to build their bank to enable them to venture to Asia, Europe, Canada etc.

I know what you are trying to say but Australian golf needs more than a super tour.

Regards

Paul



#20 james

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 02:25 AM

Fine to say that the average Australian professional can't survive with only a super tour, but who is going to fund a second-tier tour for all the second-tier pros? The main tour is already in financial trouble: with a model that is fairly unambitious and doesn't offer much prizemoney.

It would be nice to be able to fund their bank balances, but golf isn't big enough in this country to make that viable. What I'm trying to say is that an 8-10 tournament super tour makes better sense than the fledgling 16-18 (?) tournament situation we have going now.



#21 Matt

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 06:10 PM

I think the Heineken Classic moving to Melbourne had less to do with the course and more to do with the Victorian Government poaching it. Like they did with the F1 Grand Prix. The event at The Vines had been a big success and had attracted a good field each year.






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