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Do you think IPL-style Golf tournaments will make Golf in India more appealing and watchable?

Posted by Admin 31 Mar 2018

At a time when sports fans, who are pressed for time, are demanding a much more engaging and immersive experience than ever before, many games are embracing newer formats to thrive.  Golf pundits feel that the game, like many sports, needs to adapt in order to broaden the appeal of the sport to the new-age audience. Think what Twenty20 or IPL has done to cricket.



IPL style golf tournaments in India



With the glitzy, ‘fast-and furious’ Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 in cricket all set to kick-off in April, finds out from its LIVE community if IPL-style Golf tournaments in India will make the game more appealing.


A few days back when we posted this question on our Facebook feed and asked our readers to chip in and share their thoughts, little did we know that we would invite some interesting numbers.



Facebook poll



While we thought the outcome of the poll would be evenly split, 80% voted to state loud and clear that a shorter format of the game with dollops of razzmatazz is the order of the day!


So, the verdict from our Facebook community is out - The focus should be on making Golf in India more watchable to attract the new-age audience. 



The Shorter Form: European Tour’s latest innovative format!



Golf IPL style



What’s encouraging is that Golf associations like European Tour have started to take a lead. Last year, the European Tour added a new six-hole team event ‘GOLFSIXES’ to the schedule as part of its aggressive move to introduce innovative formats and broaden the appeal of the sport.


Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, had said he wanted to "emulate the national fervour" of the Ryder Cup in GolfSixes, which would feature amphitheatre-style stands around the tees and greens, music and pyrotechnics on the first tee and at various points around the course, and all players miked up.


"We have said for some time that golf needs to modernize and introducing innovative new formats is a major part of achieving that aim," Pelley said.


 Here are some interesting numbers of the event:

•    The event saw a 42% increase in new golf fans at the event compared to standard European Tour tournaments.

•    Those attendees were also 14 percent younger than those seen during the rest of the golfing calendar.

•    By virtue of attracting a younger following, social media engagement around the event also exceeded the average rate seen at other European Tour tournaments by 24 percent, delivering over 20 million social impressions.


The numbers clearly indicate that a similar format in India can increase the appeal of the sports.




‘More razzmatazz would work’



golf ipl style


When we caught up with ace Golfer Shiv Kapur and asked him on his views on making the game more appealing, he shared, “That’s there on our agenda. We had a long discussion on one of the Asian Tour board meetings on how to make the game more appealing.  The idea is to add elements like the ones we have for IPL- shorter format, more glitz and glamour, more noise, more razzmatazz …. which make Golf more watchable.”


Professional Golfer Tvesa Malik echoed similar sentiments and said, “I am sure we'll see this in the forthcoming years. With innovative formats, Golf in India will see a higher growth trajectory. A shorter format of the game will be a surefire way to engage and grow Golf's fan base!”



Traditional Golf is here to stay



Traditional golf



While a lot is being said about the shorter format of Golf, quite a few Golf fans are not that gung-ho about the whole idea. Mohan Sekhar, Senior Managing Director at Accenture, says, “I don’t think so, true golf fans would like to watch 18 holes being played and more importantly want to play 18 holes and finish at the 19th hole.”



Professional Golfer Neha Tripathi, says, “To attract a lot of the public and to promote the sport, it’s a great idea. But then again I think, most of us would still prefer our 4 days of conventional 18 holes game. It truly tests the real player in you.


That said, traditional Golf in India will remain vital. Yet, the sport must take an innovative approach to up the interest of the sports fans and survive in the near future. And there’s nothing better than IPL- style Golf tournaments in India that promise to put the game on a higher growth trajectory.



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