What Will Golf Look Like In 50 Years?
When Tim asked me this question on this week’s podcast, the first thing I did was look back 50 years and see how the sport had changed…
In short… It hasn’t. It’s exactly the same… aside from advances in tech, courses adding some distance, and some small advances in clothing… I said small. And I am not actually saying it needs to change but… the question was asked and it got me thinking…
But here are my opinions on what COULD happen… I am not saying it will happen, but would I like to at least see some of these formats tried? You bet!
Let’s Look At Cricket
I look at what cricket has done and in my opinion done really well. You can already picture where I am going right?
Originally it was the 5 day test matches, then came in one day cricket, then came in Twenty20.
For those that don’t follow cricket, Twenty20, is a one evening match, much shorter, much higher tempo, bigger hits, some would say more entertaining… mostly the non traditional cricket fans.
Each format of the game has its place and is enjoyed by the fans! Sure each format might attract some different fans, but that’s EXACTLY what it’s supposed to do.
Twenty20 would attract me as a viewer, 5 day test matches… not so much. 5 days of slow boring play, to find out it’s still a draw…. I’m obviously going fishing here… kind of…and I am fully aware people say the same about golf.
And I think golf is in a similar position…
4 day comps EVERY week with 150 players… for the viewer… is not easy to keep up with, definitely can’t watch every minute of play. It’s simply not very accessible in my opinion.
It’s difficult to really get excited about players on the first 2 days… well mainly because you may see 3 shots from them over 4 hours.
The 4 day events are awesome and I would never get rid of it… but I would reduce the number of events. The schedule is HECTIC! They literally have a 4 day comp every week of the year.
One Day Golf Events
I can totally imagine there being one day events, with smaller fields. I think this adds a new dimension as it’s it about who can shoot the lights out over one round.
Fans go for the day, knowing they will see a winner that day.
I know on the smaller tours, the ones the up and coming players play on, the one day events already exist.
But then here is where I start to go a bit… out there…
What’s The Twenty20 of Golf?
AND the T20 of golf becomes SIXES (I know this name already exists, but I am borrowing it for this idea)…. 6 hole events, played in stadium style situations.
Imagine the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale… you know the one with the HUGE stadium around hole 16…
Take a look at the course map… You could play…
Holes 11, 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18
Holes 1, 2, 10, 16, 17, 18
Have the stands full, cheering, having a few beers, chanting etc.
It could be done in the evenings… Just imagine, Friday night, floodlit course. It becomes similar to going to baseball game in the USA
Players have got 6 holes to score their best score… which means players will be going for birdies on every hole. Less safe shots, more hero shots.
I know this is very out there and I know there is almost zero chance of this happening! But I think I would LOVE this event… It could attract a whole new audience.
It takes the TopGolf feel and brings it to the pros.
What happens in the event of ties for first…? We have a 7 man sudden death playoff like we did at the Olympics… what’s not to like!?
How would this work in terms of the PGA points etc…. I have absolutely no idea. I am not bringing a full business plan here, just some ideas on how golf COULD develop over the next 50 years and really open up to new audiences and bring in a whole new world of golfers.
What About Leeds United GC vs Barcelona GC
I’ve also got another idea, team golf…. Imagine Leeds United Vs Barcelona in golf…
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, whether you think it’s a great idea, or whether you think I’ve completely lost the plot and it’s a terrible idea. Note I predict a lot of people will hate this idea, especially if they are in the world of golf.