Inside Golf : Inside Golf August 2014
from the ceo www.insidegolf.com.au | August 2014 15 Karen Lunn Executive Director – ALPG A top course and big crowds brought smiles to many faces at this year’s US Women’s Open, including Australia’s Minjee Lee (Photo: John Mummert) T he world of golf recently had the opportunity to witness something unique when the US Men’s and Women’s Opens were held at the magnificent Pinehurst number 2 course over consecutive weeks. Even though there was some scepticism about the events being held back to back, I think that from all of the stakeholders’ perspectives the outcomes were extremely positive. From the USGA’s perspective they saved a huge amount of money on costs as there was only one set of infrastructure required and only one team of officials at one venue. From the players’ perspective I think that the men were not affected in any adverse way, they played the course first, and as they would normally, not a piece of grass out of place and perfect greens. From the women’s side, there were mixed reactions when the back to back Opens were first announced, with many high-profile players openly critical of the controversial concept. By the time the event was underway most of the LPGA players who had initially thought the idea was a slight on Women’s Golf had spun a 180 and were now seeing this as a huge opportunity. Never before had the US Women’s Open received so much pre- tournament publicity and interest. I know that many of the LPGA members and other competitors due to play the following week were glued to their TV screens watching the Men’s Open, and I know that there were many caddies also watching with their yardage books and notebook and pen in hand! Many of the women playing arrived at Pinehurst on the Sunday and I know quite a few enjoyed inside the ropes access watching Martin Kaymer cruising to his first US Open title. One of the first players on the green to congratulate Martin was fellow German professional Sandra Gal. Michelle Wie, the eventual winner of the Women’s Open was given yardage books by Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley and she attributed their notes to being a big factor in her victory. In short, the experiment was a successful one, and shows that the combination or integration or whatever you want to call it of the women’s and men’s professional events can be a very positive experience for everyone involved. Golf Victoria were the first to experiment with a similar kind of strategy when in 2012 they resurrected the women’s Victorian Open and held it alongside the Men’s Open. In 2012 the event was held over two courses at Spring Valley and Woodlands and was a great success, and has continued to grow in stature since moving to the magnificent 13th Beach course at Barwon Heads in 2013. There are two courses at 13th Beach, and this enables the crowds to watch the ladies and men in action at the same venue. I genuinely believe that the model for this event is something that every state in Australia should consider. For those who were at 13th Beach in February this year and witnessed the huge galleries following as Minjee Lee and Matt Griffin won their respective titles, will have been left with no doubt that Golf Victoria has created a very special event. Coca-Cola reaffirms golf commitment THE PGA of Australia (PGA) and Coca- Cola Amatil (CCA) have announced the continuation of their major partnership, taking the relationship through to the end of 2018. The renewed agreement will see CCA refocus its Australian golf strategy with even greater emphasis on providing its market leading products and premium service to PGA Professionals at golf facilities around Australia. “Coca-Cola Amatil is committed to promoting and growing the game of golf whilst supporting our PGA Membership in all facets of their business, and we look forward to achieving great results in the coming years,” said Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA. Shane Richardson, CCA’s Managing Director Licensed & Alcohol, said that he was delighted to extend the successful partnership. “Coca-Cola and the PGA are two powerful global brands which will continue to deliver strong results to both parties,” Mr Richardson said. “The golfing market is a prestigious and valuable one for us and we look forward to delivering our great brands and customer service for the next five years.” Through the renewed partnership CCA will continue its involvement with the CCA Invitational, a corporate golf event designed specifically for CCA and its clients by the PGA, as well as its support for the PGA Professionals Championship, State Based PGA Tour of Australasia events and the Australian PGA Championship.
Inside Golf September 2014