SENIOR’S WIN GLOSSES OVER MASTERS FUTURE
Watching Peter Senior win yesterday’s Australian Masters at Huntingdale I couldn’t help but notice an underlining dark cloud around the tournament.
For all the positives that came from Senior win lets consider the bigger picture of The Australian Masters moving forward.
The Australian Masters has struggled for the last few years to attract talent / sponsors / prize money.
We need to get serious and not lose a tournament with such a great tradition. We need to get the Aussie Masters back to where it belongs and back to what Victorian golf fans want – the biggest golf tournament with the biggest names playing on the sand belt here in Melbourne.
After having The Australian Masters back at Huntingdale I am convinced there is only one place to have it each and every year (as we did for 30 plus years). We tried the other courses it just didn’t have the same feel as what it does back at Huntingdale.
Given the US PGA wrap around schedule we are always going to struggle to compete with the purses that are on offer on the US Tour. Especially when The Australian Masters purse was a total of $750,000 AUD (even less in USD!).
Imagine if there was a $5-$6million purse? Melbourne hold’s the Grand Prix each year and each year it loses a reported $50 million but we keep it because of the marketing and exposure. Surely we can allocate money to staging a major tournament each year that would have benefits like this but without the same cost?
The government have the opportunity to create something special by backing the Australian Masters. Follow the Augusta Nationals lead with Drive Chip and Putt Championship. Augusta hold competitions around America with kids having a chance kids to come in and compete in competitions on the Sunday / Monday before the Masters starts. Is there anything more inspiring than kids living their dreams and playing the same course’s as their idols? Many players drop by and say hi to the kids and encourage them.
For the tradition to continue it needs some serious investment from many in high places.
Wishing you all the best in sports and business