Attendance over the four days of the BMW PGA Championship was down by more than 10% compared with 2015 and only the Wednesday Pro-Am came close to attracting the same number of spectators as last year. In fact, with 77 celebrities taking part in the Pro-Am, public interest was such that attendance was not far short of that for the first day of the Championship itself.
Many top-ranked players had decided to give this Championship a miss – the course is not popular – and their absence undoubtedly had an impact on the gate, even though the overall presentation of the Championship was, in my opinion, the best ever.
Reignwood, Wentworth’s new owners, have major plans for improving the golf course and that work will start within days. At a press conference on Sunday morning Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s Chief Executive, described the concept as bringing back the Harry Colt ‘feel’. He said that the owners are committed to creating a world-class golf course where ‘we believe our top players will want to play year after year’.
The intention is that the changes will be made in time for the Championship next year. Please watch this space!
Geoff Russell, Publisher