Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tiger? Who Needs Tiger?

I swear the golf industry reads my blog sometimes cause some of the commentary here seems to appear elsewhere in varying forms. But, not to be an egoist, that likely happens because golf writers seem to often be of a similar mind on lots of things. And, really, there are only so many clever columns you can write.

I present you with an example. Rex Hoggard over at Golfweek had a story very similar to The 19th Hole column I wrote on Sunday about the overwhelming success of the FBR Open. He takes it one step further, though, and does a nice piece on the success of events on the schedule that are simply not a part of the Tiger (or Phil) Tour. The Travelers Championship (formerly the Greater Hartford Open) at the TPC River Highlands is cited in the article:

“We would love to have Tiger and Phil,” said Nathan Grube, the Travelers Championship tournament director. “But we didn’t have Tiger and Phil last year and our charity dollars doubled. There are lot of different matrixes to measure success.”

In 1998, Pete Dye and Bobby Weed gave River Highlands an impressive nip and tuck, and officials further sweetened the pot with a 22-acre, state-of-the-art, $4.5 million practice facility. They had Vijay Singh at 22 acres.

The new and improved Travelers, which for nearly 40 years answered to the name Hartford Open, moved to a more family friendly slot on the calendar, treated the players who did show like kings and enjoyed what could arguably be 2007’s best Sunday shootout (between Hunter Mahan and Jay Williamson).

But maybe the best matrix to measure the Travelers’ success was at the turnstile, where ticket sales tripled in 2007.
Hoggard then says something that many golf tournament directors know, but each handles in a different way.
The math is simple enough. If Woods continues to average 18 events per year, that means some 30 stops will enjoy something less than a must-see tee sheet.
Events can either choose to find ways to get people to come other than attracting the world #1, or they can become extinct. Jack Vickers chose extinction, but he probably could have chosen life.

No comments: