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2015 European Tour schedule announced

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Post by pedro Sun 23 Nov 2014, 7:49 pm

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/news/newsid=243647.html

Good to see the European Open back + a new tourney in Scotland. A few dodgy additions such as the Mauritius event. And still hard to comprehend why we have to wait till mid-May to have a tourney in Europe. But all in all the schedule looks better than this year.

Any thoughts?

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 23 Nov 2014, 8:23 pm

Maybe it's the Pontypridd in me, but it's disappointing to see the Wales Open disappear.
Bringing Crans earlier in the summer is interesting, and it's still not clear what sort of field the MatchPlay can expect; is that instead of the Gleneagles (Johnnie Walker?) event?.

I'd say that losing the Volvo MatchPlay, Wales and Gleneagles makes it a net loss.


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Post by Bob_the_Job Mon 24 Nov 2014, 9:45 am

Missing a bit of a trick by (I presume having no choice in) moving the Irish Open forward to May - a three week links run of the Irish Open, Scottish Open and the Open would have attracted better fields for the former events in preparation for the latter.

Just bought my tickets to the Irish Open - it's only a 20 minute drive away.
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Post by George1507 Mon 24 Nov 2014, 11:42 am

So we have 5 events in China to look forward to, and 4 in the Middle East, and 4 in South Africa.

There's one event in England.

It's like some sort of challenge for the European Tour I think. Let's dream up some places where nobody plays golf and organise a tournament there. Sod the loyal golf fans in Europe, we want to build up our airmiles and take sponsor money from dodgy banks that nobody has heard of.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Mon 24 Nov 2014, 11:56 am

It does seem a bit like that. I guess some of Europe has a limited weather/daylight window and sponsors are hard to find these days. Beggars can't be choosers.
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 24 Nov 2014, 1:42 pm

Laughable really. "European Tour" it is not. I guess if they want a year-long Tour, it has to visit other bits of the globe where the weather is suitable and the money is readily available.
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 24 Nov 2014, 1:51 pm

Still think losing "Gleneagles" and "Celtic Manor" are big, BIG, losses - were they just in the calendar for Ryder Cup purposes and the cachet for both owners is exhausted?

I'd rather see smaller tournaments in Europe than the preponderance of events elsewhere when parts of Europe are perfectly playable. How do extra events in Asia grow the game in Europe?
O'Grady's legacy will be the acquisition of the European Tour by Asia or the PGA Tour. Time for a revolution in EUROPEan Golf.

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Post by super_realist Mon 24 Nov 2014, 1:54 pm

Kwini, A guy at Celtic Manor told me they weren't making any money out of the Welsh Open, I suspect that they were under contract to hold it there due to Ryder Cup.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 24 Nov 2014, 2:03 pm

s_r,
Yes, I've seen Terry Matthews quoted to that effect. Maybe the same at Gleneagles - which just illustrates the folly of taking the money-spinning Ryder Cup to resort courses as part of the owners' business plans, rather than the long-term good of Golf in Britain. I bet both courses/businesses made plenty of money from the RC and collateral publicity.
But there must be an alternative, incomprehensible that there'll only be one golf tournament in mainland Britain south of St.Andrews next year.


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Post by super_realist Mon 24 Nov 2014, 2:05 pm

Two Kwini, Wentworth and Scottish Open at Gullane.




* sorry for being a pedant.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 24 Nov 2014, 2:41 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Still think losing "Gleneagles" and "Celtic Manor" are big, BIG, losses - were they just in the calendar for Ryder Cup purposes and the cachet for both owners is exhausted?....
Yes. I think it's safe to say that's the only reason they were in and, indeed, the only reason they were put forward as RC venues in the first place.
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 24 Nov 2014, 2:45 pm

Humble apologies, s_r, forgot the SO was moving south . . . . . pedantic is good!

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Post by super_realist Mon 24 Nov 2014, 2:47 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Still think losing "Gleneagles" and "Celtic Manor" are big, BIG, losses - were they just in the calendar for Ryder Cup purposes and the cachet for both owners is exhausted?....
Yes. I think it's safe to say that's the only reason they were in and, indeed, the only reason they were put forward as RC venues in the first place.

Absolutely loved Celtic Manor when I played it this year. Superb venue in every respect.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 24 Nov 2014, 3:24 pm

s_r,
Can't believe that it would somehow not be an economic boost to Wales to hold a Wales Open.
With only minor reservations, I'd say the actual Celtic Manor course lends itself brilliantly to a Tour event - such a shame to sense that a facility designed for tournament golf, and to showcase South Wales, will no longer be used for that purpose.
What are they thinking?

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Post by super_realist Mon 24 Nov 2014, 3:53 pm

I think Sleezy Salmond had done a deal to ensure that the Scottish Open remained a fixture. Certainly had to intervene on Castle Stuarts behalf.

In regards to Celtic Manor, on the plus side, you can get outstanding deals there and it really is a first class hotel.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Mon 24 Nov 2014, 4:43 pm

super_realist wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Still think losing "Gleneagles" and "Celtic Manor" are big, BIG, losses - were they just in the calendar for Ryder Cup purposes and the cachet for both owners is exhausted?....
Yes. I think it's safe to say that's the only reason they were in and, indeed, the only reason they were put forward as RC venues in the first place.

Absolutely loved Celtic Manor when I played it this year. Superb venue in every respect.

100% agreed
Everything about it is excellent, I was thinking of going back soon for an Autumn weekend but have changed my mind as the weather says it's going to be raining there until....... 2020
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Post by pedro Mon 24 Nov 2014, 10:03 pm

The billionaire running Made in Denmark is also making big losses despite sell out crowds. Like Celtic Manor, Gleneagles, part of the Gulf Swing (and Trump!) it seems you have to keep finding those philanthropists(!) willing to spend x millions (to cater to their own ego?) to keep a hand under the ET.

A bit sad in a way, but just underlines how much a$$ O'Grady must have had to kiss during his reign.

I bet Made in Denmark is history in 3 years, just like Celtic Manor and Gleneagles is now, and if one of the Gulf states decides to say ciao the others will follow soon thereafter.

Sustainable serious sponsors like Volvo seems to be refocusing their commitment and now BMW is one of the few left.

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Post by super_realist Tue 25 Nov 2014, 7:01 am

I think given that just 18 events are actually in Europe that they started to market it differently.
It's clearly no longer a European Tour, they need to re-model it as something more of a Global Tour and try and garner some global appeal.

I used to be very fond of the European Tour, its events and its players, most of what I liked about it has gone, it's gone downhill so rapidly that it needs to re-brand to try and grow it again.

It's about as much a European Tour these days as the Champions League is for Champions or the World Series Baseball features teams from around the world.

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Post by JAS Tue 25 Nov 2014, 7:08 am

super_realist wrote:Two Kwini, Wentworth and Scottish Open at Gullane.




* sorry for being a pedant.

Taking pedantry up a level...it's 2 and a third as KB is slightly south of St Andrews too.

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Post by JAS Tue 25 Nov 2014, 7:14 am

Any view on Murcar being used Super? Have you played it? Is it not a bit short as well at only 6500yds?

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Post by super_realist Tue 25 Nov 2014, 7:57 am

Hi Jas, I thought it a very strange choice, given the more illustrious Deeside, Royal Aberdeen and Trump right on the doorstep. Very strange one of those wasn't in the running.

My company has a corporate at Murcar so I've played it a lot. Condition wise, I've been disappointed with it, it's pretty easy, but then it's matchplay, but if you miss the fairway the rough is savage so matches could turn around.
Nice course, but a very bizarre choice and not quite sure it's up to Tour standard. In fact it isn't.

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Post by JAS Tue 25 Nov 2014, 10:24 am

Thats what I thought from what I've read about it, haven't played it though, only seen a couple of holes from over the fence when I played RA. Maybe it's a pre-cursor to taking the event to Trumpton?

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Post by robopz Tue 25 Nov 2014, 12:09 pm

I know O'Gady get's a lot of heat...but not having any inside on it, I'm not one to be in a position to criticize or defend him... but considering the upheaval of the annual exodus of lost events he's faced... just being able to replace them at all might be much more of an accomplishment than many people realize.

For 2015... it looks like a net loss of 1 event unless the World Match Play gets back on the schedule....

2014 Events not scheduled or defunct for 2015
1 - The Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa
2 - Volvo Golf Champions
3 - NH Collection Open
4 - The Championship at Laguna National
5 - ISPS Handa Wales Open
6 - Volvo World Match Play Championship
7 - ISPS HANDA Perth International

Events Added to 2015
1 - Thailand Classic
2 - Hero Indian Open
3 - Shenzhen International
4 - AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
5 - Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay
6 - European Open

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 25 Nov 2014, 12:14 pm

robo,
Gleneagles must be added to the list of losses, surely?
The cop-out in 2014 was that it was superseded by the RC - but now it's vanished.

I reckon the E.T. business plan has been all wrong for years, trying to build a Tour from the top down. Doesn't work in anything, and now the bottom is falling out.
How can one not blame O'Grady?

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Post by robopz Tue 25 Nov 2014, 1:47 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:I reckon the E.T. business plan has been all wrong for years, trying to build a Tour from the top down. Doesn't work in anything, and now the bottom is falling out.
How can one not blame O'Grady?
I'm not saying one can't blame O'Grady... but the way I see it, this current situation is pretty much evidence of the weakness of the very foundations of the ET that wasn't exposed until a severe economic downturn. Now if that's O'Grady's fault, then so be it, I wouldn't know... but my guess is a lot of these "foundation issues" were set in motion well before the start of his tenure.

At the risk of being accused of being "jingoistic" IMHO the benefits of oft criticized "charity" model of the PGAT shows itself at times like this. The vast majority of it's events are run and supported by very dedicated and large LOCAL non-profit interests. So in times of economic turmoil (for either a specific event itself or the economy in general) there is a foundation of dedicated people in place to work in support of the events.

I can't speak for every event here... but I can for Houston and over 30+ years I have seen how they've weathered the storms of bad dates, lost sponsors, bad economies and not only have survived, but have thrived. The underpinning of the entire thing is the strong underlying organization that built a partnership with the Tour, found replacement sponsors when needed and worked tirelessly to build value for not only that sponsor and the Tour, but for the charities involved and the community itself.

Granted this model isn't foolproof, and doesn't work 100% of the time (see Detroit and Disney)... but at least it provides a fighting chance of buying time to hopefully support and saving events when they encounter difficulties (Tampa, Palm Springs, Heritage for example). But by so many ET events NOT having such underlying strength... those events are about as solid as the sponsors (or a single guy's or sheikh's or whomever's) check clearing the bank. So when a sponsor is lost, most the time the event is dead and gone so fast there's little chance anything can be done to save it... instead it has to be replaced.

Bottom line... IMO unless the ET can find a way to shift it's focus from scrambling to find international deep pocket sponsors just for the sake of keeping events on the schedule...to one of building solid underlying local organizations to support the bulk of it's schedule.... there is no end to this upheaval continuing. And that's going to be VERY hard to do IMO without the adoption of some kind of charity or local interest model.

PS... and yes... Gleneagles should be rightly added to the list as well...

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Post by McLaren Tue 25 Nov 2014, 1:48 pm

Would there be any worth in 'fixing' the dire run of tournaments on the euro tour from the conclusion of the oil swing in January to the BMW PGA in may?

Non-double-dippers have very little chance to make ground in the OWGR's during this period, and it seems as bad next year as any.
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Post by McLaren Tue 25 Nov 2014, 1:49 pm

Robo

It could be as simple as the fact no one in europe watches golf. I suspect the TV rights are practically given away.
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Post by JAS Tue 25 Nov 2014, 1:50 pm

The thing is Kwini if the money/sponsorship isn't there it isn't there. In Europe generally I think that's the case, hence events in the middle East & Far East to keep the tour as lucrative as possible for the players.

The one thing I've always thought the ET misses out on is promoting a "Links swing" in the lead up to the Open. Have the Welsh Open at say Porthcawl, an English Open (plenty of non rota links courses to rotate around), The Irish (spoilt for choice of course) and the Scottish in the weeks immediately leading up to The Open.


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Post by super_realist Tue 25 Nov 2014, 1:53 pm

Maybe a Yoghurt Knitting event too, where you have to arrive on bus and all players donate their prizes to womens groups and racial equality programmes?

Run

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 25 Nov 2014, 2:03 pm

I think robo has it in a nutshell (no pun intended) with his comments on Houston.
The PGA Tour is, at its roots, a collection of community events - the reason long-standing tournaments survive and prosper during difficult times is because of the desire for the local community (Houston, Hartford, Greensboro, even HHI and Palm Springs) to make dodgy events work - the only real exception has been Detroit where it was seen as politically incorrect to continue sponsorship in the shadows of a failing motor industry, and Milwaukee. And you know Tucson will be back.

But there's no sense of roots or community about the European Tour, it's just all about superficial crap - even at Wentworth, it's as much a cocktail party for high rollers (pun again unintended) as a golf tournament.

Have said a dozen times, the E.T. needs to study what makes the PGA Tour work and learn some hard lessons - not likely gonna happen but sorely needed.

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Post by robopz Tue 25 Nov 2014, 2:21 pm

McLaren wrote:Robo

It could be as simple as the fact no one in europe watches golf.  I suspect the TV rights are practically given away.
Well... looking at the relative paltry ratings numbers here in most all except the big events.... apparently few people watch here either. What the PGAT has done so successfully is build a tournament model that provides value to the sponsors above and beyond just the "eyeballs" the event itself attracts to the telecasts...

Bottom line: Regardless of any reasons of how and why the ET got there, seems they find themself in a catch-22 situation now... The majority of it's "name" talent has been siphoned away from ET events the majority of the year... so how do you build the viewership without them? And if you can't put up a schedule that competes money wise, and/or with the relative convenience of playing on the PGAT... then how do you entice them back to play more...?

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Post by beninho Tue 25 Nov 2014, 3:41 pm

Golf is still seen as a posh/well off sport in Uk, maybe throughout Europe. It seems it is a bit more everyman sport in America, apart from the ridiculous clubs obviously. And America seems to be where you support all of your local sportsteams and will support the local golf event. If Arseend Indiana, held the Arseend Open, sponsored by Fat Boy Burgers, then it seems the people will come and watch. If it is held at almost any place in the Uk, maybe a few locals will turn out and some big golf fans. But it will not draw the crowds.

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Post by super_realist Tue 25 Nov 2014, 3:43 pm

beninho wrote:Golf is still seen as a posh/well off sport in Uk, maybe throughout Europe. It seems it is a bit more everyman sport in America, apart from the ridiculous clubs obviously. And America seems to be where you support all of your local sportsteams and will support the local golf event. If Arseend Indiana, held the Arseend Open, sponsored by Fat Boy Burgers, then it seems the people will come and watch. If it is held at almost any place in the Uk, maybe a few locals will turn out and some big golf fans. But it will not draw the crowds.  

You'd probably get Shane Lowry entering.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue 25 Nov 2014, 3:58 pm

kwinigolfer wrote: it's as much a cocktail party for high rollers

For the record, I tried it but I did not inhale.

(That gets me out of trouble doesn't it...)

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 25 Nov 2014, 4:41 pm

ben,
I think that's very well put - but Arseend Indiana would put the weight of the whole community, even at a State level, behind the event because economically it would be good for the community.
I'm old enough to remember the civic leaders of Accrington bemoaning their FC's departure from the Football League all those decades ago, what it had meant to the community to have the name "Accrington" in all the football pages, even if it was just results. People knew there was an Accrington and were interested in finding out more about the place.
No surprise that local (OK, mega-local) enterprises like Shell and Travelers (similarly Sanderson Farms & Viking before that) bailed out local tournaments in the States, even the State of South Carolina, became engaged in saving the Heritage.
Where's that leadership in Europe?
Particularly for Wales, I would have thought the Wales Open would be a big deal, repeated twenty times thru'out Europe.

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Post by robopz Tue 25 Nov 2014, 10:14 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:But there's no sense of roots or community about the European Tour, it's just all about superficial crap - even at Wentworth, it's as much a cocktail party for high rollers (pun again unintended) as a golf tournament.

Have said a dozen times, the E.T. needs to study what makes the PGA Tour work and learn some hard lessons - not likely gonna happen but sorely needed.
While it's not an event in Europe, this new Hero event in India might be a good place to start building a "community". First you have a golf nut for a company CEO (who's also involved his family deeply in the game), growing middle & upper classes who's culture is to "help it's fellow man through service & sacrifice" and last but not least, a country of sports nuts as long as some of their "home spun" are involved in the competition.

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Post by pedro Tue 25 Nov 2014, 10:38 pm

beninho wrote: If Arseend Indiana, held the Arseend Open, sponsored by Fat Boy Burgers, then it seems the people will come and watch. If it is held at almost any place in the Uk, maybe a few locals will turn out and some big golf fans. But it will not draw the crowds.  
Maybe Emirates would join as sponsor and build them a golf course.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 25 Nov 2014, 11:51 pm

Nice piece by McDool:

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/golf/30167678

Suggestions that a British Masters is on its way . . . . . .

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Post by GPB Wed 26 Nov 2014, 3:06 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Nice piece by McDool:

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/golf/30167678

Suggestions that a British Masters is on its way . . . . . .

{emphasis mine)

Just what the Golf World needs...another "Masters"!!

There was Nordea Masters and Czech Masters and Omega European Masters and Portugal Masters on the 2014 European Schedule.

Last week there was the Aussie Masters (in Melbourne) and the Manila Masters on the Asian Tour.

There is also the Indonesian Masters and Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters and Mercuries Taiwan Masters on the Asian Tour.

Its time we calling the pow Wow in Augusta Ga, the US Masters!!!  censored

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Post by Sand Wed 26 Nov 2014, 9:47 am

super_realist wrote:Hi Jas, I thought it a very strange choice, given the more illustrious Deeside, Royal Aberdeen and Trump right on the doorstep. Very strange one of those wasn't in the running.

My company has a corporate at Murcar so I've played it a lot. Condition wise, I've been disappointed with it, it's pretty easy, but then it's matchplay, but if you miss the fairway the rough is savage so matches could turn around.
Nice course, but a very bizarre choice and not quite sure it's up to Tour standard. In fact it isn't.

Your a better player than me SR, but first time ive ever seen Murcar described as easy and not in the best condition. Never found it easy or a disappointment when I have played it! Totally agree its a very bizarre choice for the Paul Lawrie tournament though. Just cant understand why its been chosen.

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Post by SmithersJones Wed 26 Nov 2014, 10:37 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Nice piece by McDool:

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/golf/30167678

Suggestions that a British Masters is on its way . . . . . .

I've seen an article suggesting that this is going to happen, with Poulter, Donald, Westwood and Rose taking it in turns to host, starting with Poulter at Woburn next October 8-11. I would post a link but I had the unpleasant surprise of navigating to the Daily Fail website when I clicked an anonymous link posted by Direct Golf, and I refuse to drive any traffic that way.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 26 Nov 2014, 11:06 pm

Smithers,
That would be terrific. Love it when Bjorn in Denmark, and Gonzo, Miguel, Sergio promote their Espana events. About time the guys from the British Isles did the same, so good for Rors, good for Paul Lawrie.

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Post by pedro Wed 26 Nov 2014, 11:10 pm

Apart from philantropist billionaires, sheikhs, Far East money and Ryder Cup host wannabes, it seems there's just one more formula for hosting events on the ET: when big players step to the plate and do it themselves. Rory in Ireland, Lawrie in Scotland, Sergio and MAJ in Spain, and now the four musketeers in England. What's next? "The Russki Masters by Yevgeni Kafelnikov"? For sure, long time corporate sponsors are mere wet dreams these days.

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Post by George1507 Fri 28 Nov 2014, 11:28 am

The European Tour - or the motley collection of events that purports to be the European Tour -depends heavily on banks. Commercial Bank, HSBC, Nedbank, Philippines Bank, Afrasia Bank, M2M are all banks. Aberdeen Asset Management and Nordea are in the financial services business. Add in a couple of airlines and a couple of car makers and that's pretty much it.

Everything is slowly moving towards a World Tour, with events scattered round the world. Why not get on with it and put the European Tour out of its downward spiral?


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Post by McLaren Fri 28 Nov 2014, 12:16 pm

The thing is the european tour only needs to offer european players a slightly better deal than all other tours bar the PGAT.

They should aim to offer £1 more than the next best tour, not try and match the PGAT.

I assume the next best tours are the web.com (or whatever it is called now), some of the asian tours and the sunshine tour.
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Post by McLaren Fri 28 Nov 2014, 4:59 pm

Here is some evidence to suggest the European tour is trying to offer way too much money to its players.

I had a quick look around the web to find the total prize funds for 2014 for most of the worlds major tours.  Here's the graph;

Spoiler:


And here is the average prize fund per tournament

Spoiler:


It would seem the European tour gives out a lot more prize money than the next best tour but fails to come close to the PGAT.

The European tour could knock at least $1 000 000 of its average prize fund and still offer better than anywhere other than the PGAT.  Would the players flock away from the Euro tour if this happened?  I doubt it as they would be no better off anywhere else.

It is possible some of the double dippers would stop coming back across the pond but does that matter?



Does anyone else think the european tour could easily offer less and still get almost the same fields?

It seems to make no sense to be neither one thing or the other.  You other match the PGAT or compete with the other tours.  It seems you loose tournaments trying and failing to beat the PGAT.
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 28 Nov 2014, 5:48 pm

I think they'd do better to spread the jam a little more evenly, which would better reward the European Tour Members who actually played in Europe.
But, whereas the PGA Tour is almost a co-operative, the European Tournaments are a free-for-all.

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Post by raycastleunited Fri 28 Nov 2014, 10:50 pm

pedro wrote:The billionaire running Made in Denmark is also making big losses despite sell out crowds. Like Celtic Manor, Gleneagles, part of the Gulf Swing (and Trump!) it seems you have to keep finding those philanthropists(!) willing to spend x millions (to cater to their own ego?) to keep a hand under the ET.

Another pedantic post, but Gleneagles has no philanthropist - it is owned by Diageo, hence the connection to Jonnie Walker. I'm pretty sure that hosting an event at Celtic Manor or Gleneagles is loss-making, but is a massive advert for the resort. Who would have bothered playing the 2010 course if it hadn't hosted the Ryder Cup?

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Post by pedro Sat 29 Nov 2014, 10:58 am

It doesn't matter ray. The idea about 'sponsoring' is that it's intangible.

If the 'business case' for Gleneagles is to hold a RC and make profit on people playing the course in years to come it's pretty damn closer to philantropy than actual sponsoring. Of course it's not a charity they're running but mind you, they didn't do it for their corporate brand (Diageo/JW). And that's why all above mentioned franchises/events/people will only be in it for the short run.

I'm looking for long time corporate sponsors (or community based events like in the US) - not somebody who has a certain short term agenda.

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Post by McLaren Sat 29 Nov 2014, 11:27 am

Kwini

Do we not constantly hear complaints on here that there are not enough events in europe and in the UK?

If a new model of cheaper tournaments was used do you not think it is more likely that we would see more of the kind of tournaments that the fans want?

If my figures are approaching accurate the european tour is competing against no one but itself. Do you really see any sense in that?

Reducing the amount on offer at tournaments does not mean the money can't be spread more evenly. I actually think the sum of season prize money is a red herring in some ways as it is the cost of hosting and providing prize money on a tournament level that is the issue. Why are the european tour trying to offer a million dollars more than tours its players will never play in and who it is not competing with for players or TV revenue?

If you only had to stump up around $1.5 million in prize money plus costs of hosting to put on a European tour event, would we see more events in locations more to the fans liking?
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