The global status and commercial strength of the Ryder Cup will come under serious threat from the growing importance of the Presidents Cup over the next dozen or so years, says a leading golf author.
In his re-launched e-book version of Ryder Cup Revealed: Tales of the Unexpected, author Ross Biddiscombe predicts that the anticipated success of the first Asian staging of the Presidents Cup later this month will establish it at the heart of golf’s future powerbase.
“There is little doubt that the next couple of decades will see the continued emergence of golf in Asia and that’s where the big money is,” says Biddiscombe. “South Korea’s hosting of this year’s Presidents Cup establishes a strong Asian bridgehead for the event. Can you imagine how much TV money will be generated when the Chinese and Indian golf markets mature in a few years’ time and billions of new fans can watch their heroes play against America? Golf is already well established in South Korea and Japan, and has a strengthening foothold in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, even Vietnam. In the long run, the Ryder Cup cannot beat these numbers.”
Ryder Cup Revealed is the first book to compare the potential future of the two competing team events. It reports thoroughly on the Ryder Cup finances and releases exclusive figures on the event’s turnover levels that have now reached around £60 million in Europe and $100 million in America. The European Tour is the managing partner of the Ryder Cup in Europe and controls where profits are spent – mostly on golf programmes and development. The PGA of America has the same power for the US matches, but it is the PGA Tour that has total control of the Presidents Cup and spends much of its profits on charitable work. Well over $32 million has been given to charities from the Presidents Cup’s coffers since its inauguration 21 years ago.
But Biddiscombe expects Presidents Cup turnover one day to overtake the Ryder Cup’s simply because of the Asian factor. “The Ryder Cup is still a must-see event and will continue to be hugely successful with TV and sponsors, but the Presidents Cup is making up ground fast in terms of prestige, global interest and income levels. Plus, as more Asian players take part, it will grow exponentially.”
The book explains how the Ryder Cup has suffered several financial problems since it began in 1927 and those hard times could always come again. Meanwhile the Presidents Cup was originally thought to be a pale version of the Europe-USA match when it was first played in 1994, but PGA Tour has no ownership of the Ryder Cup, so will always put its weight firmly behind the USA-Internationals content.
“The PGA Tour invented the Presidents Cup because it had no control or financial stake in the Ryder Cup. Now Commissioner Tim Finchem has started to focus his team match on the Asian market that is hugely powerful commercially. That is a massive advantage for his event going forward, especially when more and more players from that continent feature in the top 50 of the world rankings.
“Eventually, of course, Samuel Ryder’s original concept of the Ryder Cup will come into question – he said his trophy should be contested by players from the world’s two best sporting nations. It’s highly possible that in a generation one of those nations could be in Asia,” says Biddiscombe.
The 11th Presidents Cup takes place in Incheon, South Korea from 8-11 October. The US team is captained by Jay Haas and his International team counterpart is South Africa’s Nick Price. Anirban Lahiri (India), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) and Sang-moon Bae (S Koria) are Price’s Asian players.
The e-book version of Ryder Cup Revealed is available now on all digital platforms including Amazon.com (http://tinyurl.com/qbp6ltj) and contains photographs and extra chapters as well as all the chapters in the original hardback version.