Speaking in Dubai earlier this week, five-time Open champion Peter Thomson marvelled at the burgeoning world-wide popularity of golf but also lamented the decline of the Australian Tour. Thomson fears for the future of major tournaments in his homeland.
He told the GolfEx conference, “Golf is sparking up in new places such as China, which is a boom town, and the (Arabian) Gulf is also in a mushrooming pattern. They want world-class tournaments, and the money being offered cannot be matched by Australia and New Zealand.
“We are facing the loss of the Australian circuit as we are being overwhelmed by the money being offered by tournaments in new places. We have to face up to that. The future may have to be very different for golf in Australia. We have to be satisfied with a role as a nursery for our own players. We will struggle to survive. To find sponsors for tournaments, we have to ensure that they are televised. That’s where we are running into serious problems.”
GolfEx Dubai was well supported by many from the world of professional tournament golf and more than 500 visitors had the chance to check out the displays of 28 exhibitors from 20 countries.
The event will be back bigger and better next year after the two-day conference and exhibition surpassed all expectations, according to organisers Driving Force. Neil Hamp-Adams, the managing partner of Driving Force, said, “We’ve created something unique which we think will go from strength to strength. The big thing for us is to learn from this event and to make sure that we come back next year ten times better.
GolfEx Dubai www.golf-ex.com