6.4 C
Saturday, March 28, 2020
- Advertisement -

PGL a long way from pole position

Must read

If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all 

At 8pm on Thursday around Ireland, you could feel the love as people showed their appreciation for our frontline workers. Let's make this atmosphere a reality in our virtual world too #staysafe #covid19

Tackling the question; has golf been the world’s worst-coached game?

There is a growing army of enlightened coaches out there who have moved from simple swing developers to performance-focused experts, adept in all the different aspects of the game

When any fix will do

For some of us, there's just no substitute for live sport and with golf postponed for the foreseeable, people are willing to give just about anything a shot to get their fix #COVID-19

Is golf in the Republic next to fall in the COVID-19 battle?

Those in charge of grassroots golf in the UK and Northern Ireland have called on courses to temporarily close their gates to the casual golfer. Is the Republic of Ireland next?

I’m not your typical Donegal man. I haven’t tasted Harp or Tennents since I was 14, haven’t addressed somebody as “sir” since I was in secondary school, and have never owned a Toyota Corolla Twin-cam. I think donuts are a confectionary item, country and western music is hideous, and Glasgow Celtic would struggle in the English Premier League.

Though clearly something of a black sheep, by drinking Smithwicks and talking GAA, I can just about blend in. But my dirtiest little secret, the one which even Daniel O’Donnell would view with disgust, is general apathy to the Donegal Rally.

Not just the Donegal Rally in fact, but motorsport in general. Despite being a self-confessed sports junkie, if it has an engine, I’m not really interested. In the halcyon days of Eddie Irvine, I tested the waters of Formula One, but it all seemed rather dull to me. I appreciate that driving a flattened-out coke can at over 200 miles-per-hour is an incredible skill, but so is a dead-arm lawn bowls roll and I just can’t get over-excited by either.

I’m well aware of the irony of being a big golf fan.

Ever since the Premier Golf League’s existence has been thrust upon us, Formula One has been part of the constant rhetoric. There are comparisons that can be drawn between Formula One and golf, but I’m not sure how many are positive for the former.

In Formula One, televised viewership is down, tickets aren’t selling for many events, and the drivers are becoming less and less interesting to the general public.

- Advertisement -

Golf, on the other hand, has seen increased viewership – NBC and the Golf Channel’s 2018 PGA Tour coverage was the most watched in 12 years and CBS’ Masters coverage last year was the highest watched golf broadcast of all time – tickets are as in-demand as ever, and there are genuinely interesting characters in the game.

If Tiger Woods is golf’s white whale, then Michael Schumacher was surely Formula One’s. Since Schumacher’s retirement, the sport hasn’t been able to capture the public’s imagination in a similar fashion, and though Woods’ time is drawing near, he is still very much a factor in the global appeal of the game.

But the main way in which the PGL appear to be attempting to mimic the F1 scene is the team aspect, which we are led to believe would be similar to the Constructors’ Championship in Formula One. Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but apart from those with vested interests, who really cares about the Constructors’ title?

I get why you’d cheer Lewis Hamilton over Sebastian Vettel, or why you cheered Schumacher over Mika Häkkinen, but does anybody really care if Red Bull beat McLaren or if Renault beat Alfa Romeo? If the PGL follows a similar path, who is going to care whether team Callaway beat team Titleist, or team HSBC beats team JP Morgan Chase.

Golf is an individual sport and the team aspect only works when players are representing something culturally or anthropologically significant. In most sports, fan allegiance to a specific side is based on geographic location or history. The Ryder Cup works because it’s Europe versus the United States, because of the history of the event, and because there is a clear line in the sand where allegiances should be drawn.

Picture the same event where you’ve got a dozen mercenaries pitted against a dozen more and the entire allure is lost.

The league format for the individual aspect is also similar to that of Formula One, whereby each position at the end of a tournament will be awarded the requisite points and the player who amasses most points will be crowned the world champion.

Now, I’ve been critical of the PGA Tour in the past, and I believe that by sitting on their hands for too long, they’ve unwittingly invited this attempted take-over, but they did recognise the flaws in their FedEx Cup format and responded with the staggered format last year. They identified that fans were more interested in the top of the leaderboard than who was leading the points category. The ultimate prize is, and always should be, winning.

There are many positives to what the PGL are trying to do, and getting the best players in the world on the course together more frequently and at more varied locations is at the top of the list, but with the PGA Tour playing hardball and several players speaking out against, they are a long way back on the starting grid.

As we’d say in Donegal – and it’s a little ironic given the Saudi connection – but they’re nowhere near suckin’ diesel yet.

- Advertisement -

New Gear

Footjoy delivers comprehensive spikeless line-up for 2020

Footjoy's latest offering boasts more comfort, versatility and durability with a range of models to suit all golfers

Spring is in the air with Footjoy’s colourful SS20 collection

FootJoy has launched a brand-new Spring/Summer apparel line to kickstart the golfer’s season in 2020. You'll feel warm just browsing the attire!

Adidas’ journey to End Plastic Waste hits the golf course

Adidas athletes who teed it up in last week's Players Championship walked a mile in David Attenborough's shoes, wearing select apparel and footwear made from upcycled plastic waste

PowaKaddy lifts curtain on exciting CT range

PowaKaddy is continuing to push the boundaries of ultra-compact, lightweight design with the introduction of the completely remodelled 2020 Compact range


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all 

At 8pm on Thursday around Ireland, you could feel the love as people showed their appreciation for our frontline workers. Let's make this atmosphere a reality in our virtual world too #staysafe #covid19

Some weekend viewing: Charting Northern Ireland’s golfing revolution

On Virgin Media 3 at 7pm on Sunday, join Graham Little as he charts the rise and success of golf in Northern Ireland over the last decade, culminating in the 148th Open at Royal Portrush

McIlroy predicting bumper golf calendar from August

Rory McIlroy admits he hasn’t touched a club since Thursday’s first and only round of this year’s Players Championship but he’s eyeing up a potentially mouth-watering run of events post-COVID-19

Let’s all pull together by staying apart

As golfers, we've heard a lot this week about what we can't do, but what can we do to ensure our beloved game comes through this coronavirus pandemic unscathed? #Covid19

Ryder Cup captains lead tributes to the late John O’Leary

The golfing world mourns the loss of Irish golf legend - John O'Leary