It is vital that the TV coverage of Olympic golf in 2016 attracts a new audience for the sport. It will only do so if golf is presented in a way that is every bit as exciting as other Olympic sports but the general view of delegates at this month’s KPMG Golf Business Forum is that the standard 72 hole strokeplay format will not ‘cut it’ with the viewing public.
Sir Nick Faldo was one of those who stressed the importance of creating entertainment and excitement. He called for the format to be re-examined, with team golf and mixed pairs (as in tennis) amongst the possibilities.
We are told that The Ryder Cup Match is the third most-watched TV sports broadcast world-wide. The format is compelling and constantly exciting. Just think how many more viewers there would be if more countries were involved.
In 2017 there will be a vote to decide if golf should remain in the Olympics; no-one should assume that the result is a foregone conclusion. There is still much work to be done.
Geoff Russell, Editor