Far East (Lack Of) Movement

2013 11 Rory

There are times during the season that I am, literally, on the edge of my seat watching golf.


These last couple of weeks have not been amongst them.

For all the encouraging talk of golf’s rapid growth in Asia and the Far East, the tournaments staged there just don’t excite me.

Sure, they’ve got strong fields but what they lack are the things that make the majority of televised golf tournaments so compelling: history, character, crowds, and the like.

They are limp, lifeless, soulless. They are, to be blunt, not half as good as their promotional teams would have you believe.

Watch the Bay Hill Invitational or the Honda Classic and you’ll see some of the best players battle it out for titles that matter, on prestigious courses, in front of people who care.
The superficial importance painted onto these tournaments with some sponsor's signature gloss is totally transparent.

The BMW Masters and the WGC-HSBC Champions – easily the poor relation in the World Golf Championship stable – have the best players in the world, sure. But they’re battling it out for astronomical sums of money, on not especially great courses, in front of next to no-one. Case in point: the picture of Rory McIlroy, above.

Tim Finchem and his PGA Tour cohorts take plenty of stick but at least they had the sense to build the climax to their season around some of their best events.

The European Tour, by contrast, is attempting to manufacture drama and excitement in a part of the world where the demand for such a product is still in the developmental stages. It has let down its best events and most loyal supporters in pursuit of pots of cash in the furthest-flung corners of the globe.

The superficial importance painted onto these tournaments with some sponsor's signature gloss is totally transparent. They’re all about the money.  But it takes more than money to (a) grow the game or (b) make people care.

It’s funny, I remember that this time of the year used to be known as the ‘Silly Season’. It’s still silly, alright. Just in a very different way.

Do you agree with Michael McEwan


Do the events on the European Tour's Final Series get you excited or leave you feeling a bit cold? Have your say in our 'Comments' section below.

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