I was always very interested in pro golf. Instead of watching football with some mates I could sit in front of the telly for hours and watch the pro golfers playing the most amazing courses in the world.
With my move to Great Britain, the holy fatherland of golf, I thought this island would be the golf mecca for both recreational and professional golf. I was wrong! Earlier this week I bought tickets for the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth (end of May) and I’m really looking forward to this event. But at some point it hit me – I wanted to find out how many other tournaments there are played in England that I probably could attend as well this year. The result suprised me a lot: there’s not one single other tournament other than the one in May which I ordered tickets for. I couldn’t believe it!
I always thought – from a German perspective – there is something wrong with German golf because there’s only one European Tour tournament a year, the BMW International Open. German people always complained about this fact and thought that’s not optimal, there must be at least one additional event. Now, golf in Germany is by far not as famous as in England but only one pro golf event a year… That can’t be true!
Obviously it is. Only one English tournament in this golf-fanatic country, in the heart of the European Tour, home to so many players (and current Ryder Cup winners). See, it is kind of strange.
Even stranger is the fact that if you look at Europe as a whole the picture doesn’t get better! There are 48 scheduled tournaments in the 2013 season, only 18 are to be played on European soil. Can you imagine that? Only one single tournament in Ireland, only one in Portugal, only one in Wales, only one in Sweden and so forth. Instead there are six tournaments to be played in South Africa, three in the UAE, others in India, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, China, etc. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate the international setting of the tour, but at some point it gets ridiculous, especially when the European tournaments on the European Tour are only a small minority compared to international ones.
The reason is quite simple: Europe is not the hottest spot in the world and it’s impossible to host tournaments in February in central Europe when on the other hand it’s 30°C in Dubai or somewhere in the southern hemisphere. I get all that, and I get as well that there is a lot of money on the table at events in the UAE for example. All that’s pretty clear to me, what I don’t get is that at some point you should focus on Europe again and make sure that every country gets a piece of the cake. Otherwise you can’t prevent people to be more interested in the PGA Tour or prevent pro golfers to play on the US tour for the most part.
I’d love to see another German tournament at some point but even more I’d wish to have more traditional tournaments on the British Isles! That’s history and it should be future as well!