Golf needs more Team Events

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Watching the Ryder Cup & seeing how into it that fans and players get, it is true to say that the average tour event is a big let down in comparison.

Even the major championships are often much less exciting with low key celebrations and limited fan interaction.

I like watching match play events, but a lot of top players shun these as it gives Joe Nobody a chance to take out a top 10 player over 16 or 17 holes.

What would happen if Golf was a team sport all the time (or at least for a greater proportion of the season)?

Let’s say a team of 6 players (squad could be bigger than this) played fixtures. 3 pairs events in the morning, 6 singles in the afternoon. 9 points available, so 5 required to win a fixture. Maybe have some reserves playing at the back for experience or tiebreak.

Maybe on a 4 day event a team plays 2 out of the 4 days & gets points towards a league table.

Historically events have tried to split team events on nationality but it hasn’t really worked out as America is only one entry but has basically half of the elite golfers. Despite often having good formats players still see themselves as individual and many didn’t commit to the events for 1week of the year.

So with a bigger setup that players couldn’t shun, teams are split by a team name, similar to cycling, this is likely to be a headline sponsor and each team can be notionally attached to a course that hosts one of the events.

In Europe, you could have the BMW team based in Wentworth. The Aberdeen Standard team based at St. Andrews. Irish Tourism team based at the K Club, etc etc. Maybe some manufacturers would be headline sponsors for some teams. Fans would support their team similar to football or Rugby based on locality and identity.

Ok, so it’s a big change and I accept something that is not going to happen. But golf has found it harder and harder to maintain an audience with core support falling for many of the smaller tour events, then a radical change is required. Looking at the big events such as the Open and Ryder Cup there is clearly still a lot of love for golf and a lot of people who have an interest in the sport.

Sure it would be manufactured, but in sport everything is manufactured to an extent to create an environment with drama that people want to watch and support.
 

duncan mackie

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Interesting view point.

Personally the Ryder Cup works for me, whilst the Dunhill is a complete turn off ie it's as much about the format of the event as it's team element.
 

jim8flog

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What makes the Ryder cup so special and and watched by a lot more people is because it is only every other year and moves from one side of the pond to the other.

Start making these competitions common place and they wil no longer be 'special'.

Team events like this reduce the number of other events , part of which is by taking away sponsors, and seriously reduces the number of players (lesser lights) able to earn a living from the game.
 

maxfli65

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Interesting view point.

Personally the Ryder Cup works for me, whilst the Dunhill is a complete turn off ie it's as much about the format of the event as it's team element.
Dunhill Cup 3 man international team event ended in 2000 or so didn't it. I attended way back in 1985 as a youngster when it was new, watched Faldo, Curtis Strange, some good players partook. Ran its course when top guys stopped attending and the strokeplay scoring format was a bit odd.
World Cup of golf (2 man international event) has never created much interest.
Ryder Cup is a one off, trying to repeat it in an already crowded calendar won't generate any interest. Presidents Cup is already a poor mans ryder cup.
Golf is fundamentally a solo sport.
 

Bunkermagnet

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The Ryder Cup works because it is just Europe versus the States, no vested interests, no corporate controls or bias, and you can really get behind your own side. Nothing else comes close (Solheim Cup maybe) and anything new to try and feed off it would be a damp squib.
 

DCB

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Not convinced there's much need for change. The USA play The Presidents Cup in the year between and Europe play The Eurasia Cup, neither of which are high on my own must watch list. The Ryder Cup is a different beast. Having grown over the years since Europe were brought together to play, it has a long history, but, it too would have died if GB&I had remained as the opposition. TV has played a huge part in making it the success it is on this side of the water. IMO it needs to change hands to keep the US TV companies interested. It was too one sided for a spell, but, now seems to be a more even competition. Great TV that's for sure.

Next week, The Dunhill Cup, I can take it or leave it, it just doesn't have the same appeal for me. Great for the crowds that go along, but, not great on TV.
 
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To the keen golf fans - those who are keen enough to post regularly on a golf forum - there may not seem much need for change.

There are plenty of televised events with big names and exciting finishes throughout the season.

Next year we will have the 4 majors condensed into 4 months from April to July.

Big chunk left in the calendar from August through to the following March to change some of these events and in particular the WGC events which have become completely stale and very weak relative the prize money available.


Take the golf spectator attending a tournament. Hugely difficult to follow or watch much action, especially at bigger events if you want to see the marquee players.

What about a purpose built stadium course with 6 holes, big greens with multiple flags, floodlights, natural amphitheatres, stands and big screens?

Obviously not suitable for stroke play with 150 guys playing, but for smaller field matchplay events with teams of 6 or 8 players it would mean you were always watching the action and it could transform golf as a spectator event.
 

Bunkermagnet

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To the keen golf fans - those who are keen enough to post regularly on a golf forum - there may not seem much need for change.

There are plenty of televised events with big names and exciting finishes throughout the season.

Next year we will have the 4 majors condensed into 4 months from April to July.

Big chunk left in the calendar from August through to the following March to change some of these events and in particular the WGC events which have become completely stale and very weak relative the prize money available.


Take the golf spectator attending a tournament. Hugely difficult to follow or watch much action, especially at bigger events if you want to see the marquee players.

What about a purpose built stadium course with 6 holes, big greens with multiple flags, floodlights, natural amphitheatres, stands and big screens?

Obviously not suitable for stroke play with 150 guys playing, but for smaller field matchplay events with teams of 6 or 8 players it would mean you were always watching the action and it could transform golf as a spectator event.
You are only diluting what is a product with limited attraction for the non player. Theres far too many sports wanting participants and watchers for what you are talking about.
As someone who plays very regularly I dont want mickey mouse events that mean nothing, I want classic golf with real challenges. If you want to dumb it down for the American viewer count me out.
 

Capella

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I would love to see a mixed version of the Ryder Cup/Solheim Cup with men and women playing together. You could have like purely male/female foursomes and fourballs the first day and then mixed pairs the second day. In singles you just have men against men and women against women again ... that way you would not need different tee boxes or anything like that. Just make sure that the same number of women and men play in both teams.
 

OOB

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I love the Ryder cup but think it’s enough for the time being, the other team events don’t quite match it. For pro level particularly.

IDK enough about club competitions in golf but I come from a tennis background where virtually all inter club tennis is team based. Local leagues with divisions and promotion/relegation. Based on the club membership some have 7 or 8 six man teams competing weekly for the summer and winter leagues. No reason why you couldn’t set up leagues based on hcp ranges and play a foursome, fourball and 2 singles for a match. Home and away matches. Or does this already happen?
 

HomerJSimpson

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There is already the world cup, as well as the Presidents Cup which is USA vs Rest of The World. Make the Ryder Cup an annual event or have other team events and it begins to dilute it. Because it's only bi-annual it's something to look forward to and because we know it's the USA we'll play that somehow seems to add to that. Maybe it's the history of the event, maybe because by and large we've done well in it over the last few decades but I'd rather let this brilliant win this week die down and then look forward to the qualification process starting and the anticipation gorwing
 

TheDiablo

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Golf 6s - nobody goes to watch except on free tickets

Zurich Classic. Nobody cares about the event.

Presidents Cup. Nobody really cares, despite efforts to suggest otherwise.

Eurasia Cup - Nobody cares.

World Cup - Nobody cares

Pebble Pro-am/Dunhill Pro Am - only the celebs and rich that get to play in these care.

Team events in various guises have been tried for years. Players, sponsors, fans don't want any more. To force other team events would dilute the Ryder Cup, as would playing it annually imo.

More matchplay would be good, but it's a very tough format to keep TV and sponsors happy.

Golf is a minority sport, I don't see that changing whatsoever in the next generation, we should just accept it for the sport we current fans love. and do we really want it to be even more driven by corporates and TV? Not for me but each their own of course.
 
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How many other sports have tried gimmicks that over-paid marketing companies have come up to "improve their brand"? The only one that worked was T-20. Golf had Powerplay, Snooker had their 6-red ball game, cricket now wants this stupid 100 ball idea. They all die out pretty quickly.

As other people have said, the Ryder Cup is so special because it is so unique. Chocolate cake is wonderful when you have it occasionally. Every meal or every day and it loses its special appeal.
 

IainP

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I recall when USA introduced the Presidents Cup and thought they had pulled off a masterstroke as their guys would play more RC style events, gain experience, rookies wouldn't really be rookies etc. Pleased it hasn't seemed to have panned out being a big advantage. Maybe it dilutes.
 

Slab

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Watching the Ryder Cup & seeing how into it that fans and players get, it is true to say that the average tour event is a big let down in comparison.

Even the major championships are often much less exciting with low key celebrations and limited fan interaction.

I like watching match play events, but a lot of top players shun these as it gives Joe Nobody a chance to take out a top 10 player over 16 or 17 holes.

What would happen if Golf was a team sport all the time (or at least for a greater proportion of the season)?

Let’s say a team of 6 players (squad could be bigger than this) played fixtures. 3 pairs events in the morning, 6 singles in the afternoon. 9 points available, so 5 required to win a fixture. Maybe have some reserves playing at the back for experience or tiebreak.

Maybe on a 4 day event a team plays 2 out of the 4 days & gets points towards a league table.

Historically events have tried to split team events on nationality but it hasn’t really worked out as America is only one entry but has basically half of the elite golfers. Despite often having good formats players still see themselves as individual and many didn’t commit to the events for 1week of the year.

So with a bigger setup that players couldn’t shun, teams are split by a team name, similar to cycling, this is likely to be a headline sponsor and each team can be notionally attached to a course that hosts one of the events.

In Europe, you could have the BMW team based in Wentworth. The Aberdeen Standard team based at St. Andrews. Irish Tourism team based at the K Club, etc etc. Maybe some manufacturers would be headline sponsors for some teams. Fans would support their team similar to football or Rugby based on locality and identity.

Ok, so it’s a big change and I accept something that is not going to happen. But golf has found it harder and harder to maintain an audience with core support falling for many of the smaller tour events, then a radical change is required. Looking at the big events such as the Open and Ryder Cup there is clearly still a lot of love for golf and a lot of people who have an interest in the sport.

Sure it would be manufactured, but in sport everything is manufactured to an extent to create an environment with drama that people want to watch and support.
I get that your motivation comes from a love of the game but there are marketing execs setting up meetings around the world this morning posing similar questions to yours... but their motivation is somewhat different

You cant easily create something and make it a success
The only reason the Ryder cup is so successful now is because it had a history and money/attention was thrown at it (much like the English Premier League etc)

If it didn't exist and you came up with the format for the US Masters now it wouldn't catch on any more than any other Tour event

Instead of looking for something else, lets look at getting the same hype and interest into the Solheim Cup/Walker Cup etc etc
 

Slab

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I get that your motivation comes from a love of the game but there are marketing execs setting up meetings around the world this morning posing similar questions to yours... but their motivation is somewhat different

You cant easily create something and make it a success
The only reason the Ryder cup is so successful now is because it had a history and money/attention was thrown at it (much like the English Premier League etc)

If it didn't exist and you came up with the format for the US Masters now it wouldn't catch on any more than any other Tour event

Instead of looking for something else, lets look at getting the same hype and interest into the Solheim Cup/Walker Cup etc etc

I was going to google it and then edit my own post to include it like I knew... but instead I'll admit that I cant even recall what the junior ladies walker cup equivalent is called!

That's just a bit sad

There's plenty team golf out there if we want to watch it, it just needs our support
 
Thread starter #20

Grant85

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I was going to google it and then edit my own post to include it like I knew... but instead I'll admit that I cant even recall what the junior ladies walker cup equivalent is called!

That's just a bit sad

There's plenty team golf out there if we want to watch it, it just needs our support
There is a bit more team golf and the Solheim Cup is a good spectacle. And perhaps we will see a bit more ladies golf on tele with some English players competing at the right end of the big events - maybe the BBC can do a job here given the rights will cost next to nothing.

However, I think more team golf in Mens and Ladies golf would be a good format. You could also have mixed teams.

I'm not sure about the marketing execs - the ones working for the sponsors have a big say in a lot of what happens. Look at the Johnnie Walker Championship in Gleneagles. That has stopped since Diageo decided they were going to try and sell Gleneagles as soon as the Ryder Cup had finished in 2014. They've still not sold it, but have obviously reduced their commitment to the venue.

If the right guys could get in a room together and figure out a format that was broadcast-able and put enough prize money up for grabs, then that will drive change.
 
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