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The former chief executive of the EuroPro Tour has called on the major tours to come together to improve the developmental structure of professional golf.
Dan Godding made the plea during an appearance on this week’s episode of The bunkered Podcast.
In a candid, wide-ranging interview, Godding addressed the shock closure of the EuroPro Tour. Despite being an official satellite of the European Tour, offering the biggest prize funds in European development golf and being broadcast to over 500 million people globally, the tour was forced to fold due to “the economic landscape of increasing costs and the changing habits of the worldwide audience”.
Its exit from the game has left a large void for players trying to establish a foothold on tour and, whilst other circuits such as the Tartan Pro Tour and Clutch Tour will be expected to plug some of that gap, Godding is in doubt that they shouldn’t be left to do it alone.
“I always use the phrase ‘no castles in the sky’,” he said. “If you had a skyscraper and you took out the first three floors, it would collapse. The fact is, with golf right now, there’s an awful lot of focus and money at the top – but you really need to look at the bottom and make sure that the talent is coming up.
“At the end of the day, for all of these tours, the product is the player. If you don’t have a Tiger Woods, you don’t have a golf tour.
“I just hope that the big tours all get together and say, ‘Look, we need a developmental structure’.
“There’s an awful lot of pressure for these little tours to be running the whole developmental structure of golf.”
Godding added that the demise of the EuroPro Tour was made all the tougher to swallow because of the amount of money that has been thrown at the current crop of top players on, for example, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf over the past 12 months.
He said: “When you’re running the EuroPro Tour and you’re trying to scratch for every penny and every sponsor – be it a two grand sponsor or a 15 or 20 grand sponsor – you do everything you can to get everything you can. Then you look at someone getting four-and-a-half million for first place and it’s like, wow, if only we could get 10% of that. It would be huge.
“The big tours should really be looking at it and saying, ‘We ought to support that and do everything we can to make sure that we bring these players on’ because, otherwise, they’re just going to run out of their product. That’s the major problem I can see happening in the next five to ten years.”
Listen to the full interview with Dan Godding on the latest episode of The bunkered Podcast, available now on Apple, Spotify and all good podcast platforms.
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