Pretty much every professional tournament is a 72-hole medal. Every week the same deal, 140 blokes go around very slowly. We mostly just see a load of putts, they either go in or they don’t.
After two days there is a cut, but we don’t actually know what it is until the end. Then they get excited about the back nine on Sunday, basically because it is on the only real bit that is exciting to watch as something is actually decided.
In most sports if something happens in an instant it can change the whole outcome of the event. Even in a five day Test cricket match a couple of balls can change the whole match. If the worst possible thing in golf happens and someone hits it out of bounds they’ll probably just make bogey or double bogey and just move on, and we probably wouldn’t see it anyway.
So what can golf do to make the game more interesting for the viewer and more importantly attract new people to the game? Here are some innovative ideas, some may upset traditionalists but do you know what… fuck ‘em!
1 - Mix up the events
Golf has so many different formats but with the exception of like two matchplay events there is hardly any variety in the professional game. Surely mixing it up is way better for TV?
The Ryder Cup proves how successful team events are, perhaps more focus on them and matchplay? Anything where people can be tribal and support a team brings more passion.
Even if we need a franchise run by a manufacturer or brand then fine.
2 - Mic the players up
We are not saying do this at Augusta but why not at special events? Let the commentators have banter with the players whilst they walk/ride buggy, let the players call their shots before they hit them. Sure they’d moan at first but if the money was right I’m sure they’d do it!
3 - Night golf
Two hours on a midweek primtime evening under floodlights. 12 or 24 players on the course, shot clocks, caddies up by the ball getting yardage before players arrive, music, drinking fans, noise.
4 - Champions League Format
Couple it with the nightgolf. Groups of four play three, four or six hole medal matches, they’d all play each other in one night. You could have various rounds of matches then a finals night.
5 - Current player's views
Get current players or legends in the box. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a stint in the box and they’d actually be relevant. The likes of Darren Clarke who did it at the Ryder Cup are much more interesting than the dross they normally put out.
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.